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©tbet poems of tbe Sea 




The sea, that home of marvels" 

W. E. Gladstone, Juventus Mundi 



1 8 Bouverie Street, Fleet Street, E.C. 

[All Rights Rtservtd\ 






Dig Wife 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2007 with funding from 

Microsoft Corporation 


A T a time when so many volumes of verse are 
placed before the public, the author feels that 
in venturing to add one more to the number, some- 
thing approaching an apology is called for. He 
begs to offer it and call attention to a truth which 
in some degree excuses him. Though the British 
people are the greatest maritime nation the world 
has ever seen, and the command of the seas the 
object for which they are prepared to make any 
sacrifice, it is surprising how comparatively little 
English verse makes the sea and the sailor its 
theme. He ventures to hope, therefore, the mari- 
time character of the following poems may save 
them from a cold rejection, if it does not insure 
for them some measure of welcome. 

If the words of Byron, in Childe Harold, have 
for the reader the charm and truth they have for 
the author, he will be indulgent — 

" I have loved thee, ocean ! and my joy 
Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be 



Borne, like thy bubbles, onward : from a boy 
I wanton'd with thy breakers — they to me 
Were a delight ; and if the fresh'ning sea 

Made them a terror — 'twas but a pleasing fear, 
For I was as it were a child of thee, 

And trusted to thy billows far and near, 

And laid my hand upon thy mane— as I do here." 

The use of a few nautical terms has been un- 
avoidable. A glossary of those at all likely to be 
unfamiliar will be found in the appendix. 


The Captain of the "Dolphin" — 

I. The Coming of the Captain 
By the Inn fire 

II. The Captain's Story . 

He refers briefly to his Early Life 

He bids his Bride farewell, and sails for Newfoundland 18 

The Ice is seen and entered . . 20 

St. John's, Newfoundland, is reached . 21 

He dreams of Wife and Home . 22 

A Seaman awakens him . 26 

The Harbour Scene . ... 26 

The Sailing of the Sealing Fleet . . . 28 

The Ship is overtaken by a Storm . . . 30 

She ships a Sea and loses a portion of her Crew . 31 

She is Ice-bound . . • •■ 33 

The Dream . ... 34 

He goes Aloft once more, and determines to walk to 

the Shore . • • • 35 

He falls into a Trance 36 

He is carried to the Ship 37 

A Gale releases the Ship . . 38 

He awakens from his Trance, saves the Ship from 

destruction, and hears his Wedding Bells . . 40 

The Storm passes away, and a Night of great Beauty 

ensues . . ... 42 

He Sleeps and Dreams again . . 44 

The Fleet is seen . . ... 44 





The Captain of the "Dolphin" — continued 

The Ship is laden and returns to St. John's 

Ice, Storm, and Shipwreck 

The wind releases the Ship, and the St. John's Haven 

is reached . . . 

The Ship enters Port, and he hears from Home . 
The Ship sails for Davis' Strait in pursuit of Whales 
A Mysterious Occurrence 

A Phantom Wreck rises from the Deep and sinks again 
The Ship goes on her way, and again he dreams . 
During a Storm a Man is lost Overboard, and the 

Captain sees strange Sights . 
Land is seen . . . 

The Ship reaches Dundee, and he hastens to his Home 

III. What followed the Captain's Story 

The Host expresses thanks and asks a Question 

The Captain induces the Host to tell a strange Story 

A Strange Old Barque 

The Windlass and the Bell 

Silence is kept for a space 

The Captain asks a Question and makes a Revelation 

IV. The Shipwreck .... 

A Distress Signal is heard, and Dawn breaks 
The Scene from the Cliffs 
The Captain says Farewell 

V. The Fisherman's Story 

The Manning of the Petrel 

The Petrel is Launched 

The Storm drives the Petrel backwards, and the Wreck 

breaks asunder . . . . 

The Captain alarms the Fishermen 
The Boat is turned about and sails Homewards, but 

upsets ..... 
He indulges in a little Fisher Philosophy 



The Captain of the "Dolphin"— continued 


VI. The Passing of the Storm 

• 87 

The Author watches the coming of Calm and Sunshine 87 

The Author muses and slumbers 

. 89 

The Author dreams . 


The Host awakens him 

• 91 

VII. Conclusion .... 

• 92 

Morning .... 

. 92 

Departure .... 

• 93 

The Armada Called "Invincible"— 

The Captains on the Hoe 

• 94 

Arrival of Fleming . 

. 96 

The Sailing of the Sea Dogs . 

. 102 

The Signal-fires are lit 


The Armada is sighted 

• 105 

The First English Attack 

. 108 

The Spaniards reach Calais 

• "3 

The English Fire-ships 

• 119 

The Flight of the Spanish Fleet 

• 123 

The Second English Attack . 

. 124 

The Spanish Council of War . 


The Spaniards steer Northwards 

. 130 

The English abandon the Pursuit 

. 132 

How England received the News 


Louis Philippe Delarue— 

I. The Sailing and the Wreck . 

• 135 

II. The Apparition 

. 142 

III. The Bottle on the Beach 

. 147 

In the Indian Ocean— 

I. Sunrise .... 

• 153 

II. Noon 


III. Sunset 


IV. Midnight .... 

. 160 


The Demon and the Derelict 

Making the Harbour Light 

The Song of the Iceberg . 

The Full-rigged Ship "Centurion 

In the Cleft of a Rock 

A Seaside Reverie 


The Water Bells . 

An Outward Bound 

A Mother's Dream 

The Sailor's Burial 


I. Note 
II. Glossary of Nautical Terms 








Part I. 
Ube Comma of tbe Captain* 

" Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks ! rage ! blow !" 

Shakespeare, Henry IV. 

By the Inn Fire. 

A LONELY inn looks out upon the sea 
^^ That laves and frets the northern Cornish coast, 
Where I, unwilling guest, was weather-bound, 
And sat till late in converse with my host. 

A night of storm, as gloomy as the grave, 

Now moaned and groaned like man in deep distress ; 
Now piped and thundered round the weathered walls 

Like fifes and drums that Satan might possess. 

A fire of wood — of planks from off a wreck, 
Roared loud in concert up the ample flue. 

We talked of gales and dangers on the sea, 
The stout ship's loss and drowning of the crew. 


Our talk was weird, well suited to the night — 
Such talk as stirs the human brain and breast ; 

And while the clock was striking twelve there came 
A bearded, weird, and unexpected guest. 

So loud the shriek of winds and thunders' roar — 
As if ten thousand demons were the storm — 

We did not hear the opening of the door, 
So, like a spectre stood his lofty form 

Clad as a master-mariner is clad 

When in a tempest he commands a ship. 

On every garment ran the water down, 
And as he stood it fell with heavy drip. 

His hair was matted curls, his beard was long, 
And every thread of both was snowy white ; 

His form was straight and sturdy as a mast : 
T was plain he once had been a man of might. 

The eyes were blue, their light — it seemed to me— 
Like light of stars reflected in the sea, 

The forehead wrinkled, the expression sad — 
A man who might not or who might be mad. 

Just such a man as old sea stories paint 
Upon the canvas of a schoolboy's mind — 

Or we behold in dreams in after life, 

When youth's romance has drifted far behind. 

" Pray, take a seat," the host, uprising, said, 
" And till the morning make yourself at home. 

'T is not a night for such an aged man 
To wander on the Cornish cliffs alone." 


A smile spread rippling o'er the stranger's face, 

As circle waves spread out upon a pool 
Whose calm is broken by the plunging stone 

Cast by an urchin on his way to school. 

Then laughed he loud and long, as if the host 

Had cracked a joke of very rarest kind ; 
And laughed again, more loudly than before — 

So loud, indeed, he drowned the whistling wind. 

The host, amazed, stood gazing at the guest, 

Disturbed with doubts about the cause of mirth ; 

And looking like a man who thinks he sees 
A spirit-form that haunts this nether earth. 

" A little makes you merry, friend," said he j 
At which the guest looked stern, and gravely said 

" The mirth of man has long been dead in me. 
My hope and joy are both for ever fled ! 

"I laughed because you called me 'aged man' — 
Laughed at myself, without a thought of thee. 

Forget my laughter, neighbour, if you can. 
Have either of you ever been to sea ? " 

We answered " No " (which seemed to please him much) 

And begged a story of the stormy main. 
" A story you shall have," was his reply, 

"Which I have told, but may not tell again." 

We piled more wood upon the blazing hearth — 

More broken planks from off the mould'ring wreck ; 

The billets, all composed of Norway pine, 
Were evidently portions of the deck. 


The sailor sat in silence for a while, 

Gazing intently at the blazing fire, 
Watching the flames, like waves against a cliff, 

Fanned by the draught their yellow foam throw higher. 

The host and I sat on an oaken bench 

Made from two thwarts from out a broken yawl ; 

He in a chair before the billets' blaze 

Which threw his trembling shadow on the wall. 

There leaning forth he spread his horny hands 
To shade his eyes a little from the light, 

While we sat wondering what the tale would be 
Told by the roving pilgrim of the night. 

When he his tale began, his softened tones 
Revealed a man who felt himself forlorn ; 

But later on he seemed, from time to time, 
The incarnation of the howling storm. 


Part II. 
Zbc Captain's Storg** 

11 Are his wits safe ? Is he not light of brain ? " 

Shakespeare, Othello. 

He refers briefly to his Early Life. 

My mother died when I was ten, my father long before : 
They left me like a castaway upon a lonely shore ! 
No friend had I to guide or chide, so, feeling I was free, 
I chose to be a cabin-boy and sailed away to sea. 

Just where the winds and tides of life propelled me, there 

I went 
For thirty years, in twenty ships, to every continent. 
I sailed the frigid northern seas amid the frost and snow, 
And in the sultry tropics' heat I travelled to and fro. 

Those years were all as restless as the restless sea itself! 
As Nature gave me common sense I wasted not my pelf. 
At length I somewhat weary felt of ceaseless come and go — 
Of being like the ocean tide's eternal ebb and flow. 

I should have said when I began, that I'm a Scot by 

No spot to me is like Dundee in all the varied earth. 

* See Appendix. 


'Twas there my parents gave me life, 'twas there my 
parents died, 

Twas there, an orphan, sailed I forth on life's un- 
certain tide : 

And thither went I when the time had come to take a 

rest — 
A stormy petrel flown to land to make itself a nest. 
I found a wife as dear as life, and left her when had flown 
My year of rest — the briefest year my stormy life has known ! 

He bids his Bride farewell, and sails for 

We stood upon the busy quay one darksome winter day, 

My bride and I, to say good-bye before I sailed away. 

I kissed the lass and kissed again — I kissed with honest 

For sweet was she, and meet was she to be a sailor's bride. 

I see her now, as then she stood and waved her kerchief 

white ! 
I waved my hand ; I left the land ; and through the breezy 

I dreamed of her, and dreamed again — I lingered by her 

While she at home was all alone, and dreaming of the tide. 

The plighted vow ! I feel it now — I feel it night and day ! 
Oh, precious pearl ! Oh, sweetest girl within the Firth of 

Thy sweetness was the sweetness of the sweetest summer 

Thy purity the spotlessness of newly fallen snows ! 


The Dolphin's sail embraced the gale, and north we gaily 

We saw at night the beacon-light that tells of Peterhead : 
Then yards were braced, as on we raced towards the rough 

Which lie between a Caithness green and Orkney's stormy 


When night was done, a cheerful sun lit up a cheerful sea, 
And shed a smile on Stroma Isle and shores of Dun- 

cansby : 
With lighter gale and cloud of sail we felt inclined to mirth 
As, closely trimmed, we lightly skimmed the waves of 

Pentland Firth. 

Then came the rain with change of wind — it soon a 

tempest blew : 
The waters hissed, and in the mist old Scotland sank from 

Then all around but storms were found and wild Atlantic 

By wintry blasts our sturdy masts were long and sorely 


With foaming head, on — on we sped ! Oh, I remember 

The stormy days, the blinding sprays, the long Atlantic 

swell ! 
High on the waves, through broken crests, with foaming 

leeward rails, 
Or deep entroughed, with shrieks aloft, the Dolphin fought 

the gales. 


The Ice is seen and entered. 

Ten stormy days and stormy nights, and then, to north and 

A line of white, at fall of night, lay on the ocean's breast, 
With belt of light about as bright as when, about to rise, 
The queen of night with half her light gleams on the 

darkened skies, 

Of line of white and belt of light we well the meaning knew, 
For oft e'er then the Dolphiris stem had bravely pierced 

them through. 
As some proud steed on battle-mead rides boldly on the foe 
By night and day she ploughed her way amid the ice and 


Now veins of blue would let her through and ripple by her 

side, — 
Now like a vise the lifeless ice would hold her in the tide ! 
And then again the sturdy stem, and steam, and straining 

With cogent might would win the fight and leave the 

danger past. 

'Mid bergs in hosts like sheeted ghosts a sinuous way 

we found — 
We saw them north and south and west, we saw them 

all around! 
No life was there except in air the pallid arctic gull ; 
While overhead, as dark as lead, the clouds hung low and 


And then came dreary days and nights — no sun or moon or 

No change beguiled, the ice was piled in masses near and far; 


No vein of blue to let us through, while in the icy grip 
Like living thing with broken wing remained the stalwart 

Then came a gale — a bitter gale with biting bitter blasts ; 
And driving snow went o'er us so we could not see the 

masts ; 
The ice did shift — began to drift — we felt it strangely stir ! 
And wildly tossed, with reck'ning lost, we knew not where 

we were. 

That was a night ! No ray of light to shew where danger 

'Mid tossing floes and crashing bergs we longed for 

break of day. 
'Neath snow in clouds, with glittered shrouds and perils 

near and far, 
We bore our parts with manly hearts in nature's solemn 


At last came day — with lurid ray the crimson sun uprose ; 
The blasts all died and left the tide to lie in smooth repose ; 
The broken ice lay far and wide upon the lurid sea ; 
With sails uphoist, how we rejoiced to see the course was 

£V. John's, Newfoundland, is reached. 

With later day came warmer ray, and gaily sang the crew 
Of sunlit ships with sunlit sails on sunlit seas of blue. 
The man aloft gave joyful shout (Oh, I can hear it now !) — 
"Ahoy!" said he, "There's land, I see, upon the star- 
board bow." 


The sea-fowl came in wondrous flocks — we blessed the 

beauteous things ! 
All round about, and in and out, the air seemed filled with 

Now soaring past, now 'twixt the masts, now plunging 

in the sea : 
We knew that soon — ere stroke of noon — the ship would 

anchored be. 

At length, high on the right and left rose cliffs six hundred 

We passed a fort, we entered port and saw the anchored 

O'er ships and haven, hills and town, a calm repose was 

spread — 
A snowy pall lay over all as if the whole were dead. 

He dreams of Wife and Home. 

The plighted vow ! — I feel it now — I feel it night and day ! 
Of her at home I dreamed that night as we so quiet lay — 
Of her — my life ! — the sweetest wife that ever blessed the 

earth ; 
And I could see dear old Dundee and all the Moray Firth. 

Again I heard her kindly voice, as when in Kentish vale 
By leafy way, at death of day, is heard the nightingale ; 
Again I heard her laughter sweet, so like the tinkling rills 
That gaily run in summer sun adown the Sidlaw Hills. 

Once more my pearl, my bonnie girl, lay in my arms' repose 

To hear me tell of what befel amid the Arctic floes ; 

And pale was she to hear from me how near at times was 

death : 
The tears did rise within her eyes, and trembling in her breath, 


Then mirth again and merry laugh. Oh, God, it seemed 

so real ! 
I see her now ! I hear it now, that laughter's silver peal ! 
I told of pastime in the north and sport among the crew ; 
How, roused at night, the mimic bear in mimic fight we 


And then the scene was strangely changed ! 'Twas glad- 
some summer day : 

'Neath cloudless sky my bride and I were by the bonnie 

Life seemed all bliss — one warm, long kiss — and we the 
meeting lips ! 

'Twas haying time, and I and mine thought not of storms 
and ships. 

The new-mown hay made sweet the day ; the Tay was 
strangely bright 

With brilliant birds and brilliant boats. 'Twas an enchant- 
ing sight ! 

With sail and oar the boats went by with wondrous skill 
controlled — 

The sails were sails of flashing silk, the oars were oars of 

Both they who rowed the golden oars and they who trimmed 

the sail 
Were friends whom we had known through life : they gave 

us joyful hail 
As, kindly smiling, past they swept along the perfumed 

With joy-dimmed eyes we gave replies and blessed them 

o'er and o'er, 


Most brilliant birds of wondrous song, with brilliant wings 

In graceful flight, with speed of light, came wheeling over- 

Their wings were white, and strangely bright with wondrous 
golden tips ; 

Their flashing breasts and sunlit crests were like my 
darling's lips. 

Our marriage bells we heard again — a madly merry chime ! 
The air seemed filled, with music thrilled, and throbbed 

responsive time. 
The form was read — again we said, each one, a glad 

Another burst of marriage chimes, and then the bells stood 

Through sunny hours I culled the flowers that bloomed 

about her feet, 
And deftly twined, with green combined, to make a chaplet 

Oh, sweet indeed the chaplet was ! — " My love," I gently 

"This chaplet I have made for you" -and laid it on her 


To my surprise her gentle eyes o'erflowed with blinding 

While, pale in look, she plainly shook as if with sudden 

fears ! 
She left home clad in Scottish plaid which now turned 

strangely white — 
As white as snow or Arctic floe seen in Aurora's light. 


I calmed her fears, I dried her tears, and held her in 

my arms. 
'Tis strange, thought I, that she should cry and feel such 

wild alarms ; 
And while I thought, a wind uprose (as chill as death ! 

I deem) — 
The wreath was tossed and quickly lost -within the passing 


The brilliant light and beauty died as dies a sunset hue ; 
The birds all fled from overhead (as hopes are wont to do) ; 
The brilliant boats became as jet; the waters dark as night; 
The rowers and their golden oars became a ghastly white ! 

Then darkness fell, 'twas dark as hell — it fell like falling pall 
On faded scene and faded stream, till blackness covered all ! 
One beam alone, like marble stone, fell on my trembling 

bride ; 
No sound I heard save one lone bird and rush of passing 


"Wreath! wreath!" cried she. "Ah, woe is me!" Oh, 

frenzy of the dream ! 
With piercing shriek she fled to seek the chaplet in the 

I heard her plunge ; I heard her rise ; I saw an outstretched 

hand — 
'Twas lustrous white and mocked the night. Then I 

became unmanned ! 

I strove to plunge, but could not plunge — some demon held 

me back, 
While I beheld the hand uplift amid surrounding black ! 
Adown the stream the drifting hand grew paler as it swept ; 
In grief I sank upon the bank, and long and sorely wept. 


A Seaman awakens Him. 

Then came a knocking — and again, with strokes of chimes 

"The hand!" I cried; "the snow-white hand has drifted 

down the stream ! " 
" Six bells, sir, six ! " a voice replied. Then flew the 

visioned scene, 
And glad was I to wake and find it all a troubled dream. 

My teeth were set (I can't forget I), set like a tightened vise, 
My brow was wet with death-like sweat, my hands like 

blocks of ice ! 
That hand so white — so strangely bright — I saw through 

standing tears j 
The piercing cry refused to die upon my terrored ears. 

I felt as weak, and looked as pale as if in direful swoon ; 
The cabin light was dim to sight, and like a clouded moon. 
With beating heart and panting breath I sat me up in bed, 
And felt as Lazarus must have felt when wakened from the 

I felt like one entombed in trance, and longed the sun 

to see. 
My cabin seemed a charnel house which close imprisoned me! 
I got me forth and walked the deck — the very sun seemed 

sad ! 
Who saw my pace and livid face concluded I was mad. 

The Harbour Scene. 

I strove to find relief of mind, and long I strove in vain. 
What met the sight recalled the night and burned within 
the brain, 


For boats there were, and birds there were, and rowers 

rowing past — 
A pageant bright with morning light upon the waters cast. 

The rowers hailed the Dolphin's crew : I thought they 

called to me, 
And feared again my fevered brain would all its horrors see. 
Had they returned — if I had heard that shriek and plunge 

I must confess, with sore distress I should have gone insane. 

My mind was calmed, and joy returned, as upwards sailed 

the sun ; 
But times there were when thoughts would stir which 

made me feel undone. 
Yes — thoughts of her — the bonnie heart I left in old 

Who watched with sighs and tear-dimmed eyes the Dolphin 

sail to sea. 

I thought about the busy quay and darksome winter day ; 
I thought about the sweet good-bye, and how I sailed 

In thought I kissed my lass again, and kissed with honest 

For sweet was she, and meet was she to be a sailor's bride. 

I tried to think what life would be — a long and weary 

day! — 
Without my pearl, the sweetest girl in all the Firth of Tay. 
A shadow fell across my soul ; then came unbidden tears, 
And I was tossed and almost lost in waves of hopes and 



There have been times, there will be times (I think you 11 
both agree), 

When, looking back, a thoughtful mind can strange con- 
nections see 

Between a grief and dream of grief. On this I '11 say no more, 

But just remark, great sorrows cast their shadows long before. 

The sun went on ; and on I mused till near the close of 

The Dolphin's masts their shadows cast on objects far 

The evening lit her vestal lamp — the lonely star I blessed ! 
My stormy life seemed halcyon and full of nameless rest. 

Night brought the bright Aurora's light with mystic, fitful 

Round her bespangled azure robe she bound a silver sash. 
I stayed to watch the dancing light until it failed and died : 
The clock struck twelve when night unbound and laid her 

sash aside. 

The Sailing of the Sealing Fleet, 

The day we sailed it briskly blew. The world was all 

And down the hills poured countless rills from off the 

melting snow. 
A gladsome sight — a world bedight lay spread before my 

eyes — 
The haven, town, and shipping made a picture to surprise ! 

At anchor lay a score of ships of stalwart mould and main, 
With oaken hides and iron sides to meet the ice's strain — 
To meet the floes and fight the floes that lay await afar — 
A sturdy fleet prepared to meet the blows of sturdy war. 


In lofty order stood each mast and yard and sail and rope — 
A gay array to meet the storms and with the storms to cope. 
With flash and dip from shore to ship, again from ship to 

The brawny sailors and their boats kept passing evermore. 

High over decks and over yards the language of the seas — 
A thousand coloured pennons — kissed and flirted with the 

breeze : 
The town and shore, each street and store, appeared one 

busy hive ; 
The ships, the boats, the wooden quays with men were all 


One humming rout, with laugh and shout, all eager for the 

Of engine's throb and flapping sails wide-spread and out- 
ward bound. 

It came at last ! Each windlass clicked in time to lusty 

The engines beat; the sails spread out to bear the fleet along. 

From lips on ships, from lips on shore came loud and lusty 

While wives and sweethearts waved their hands and wiped 

away their tears. 
The very birds which winged about seemed in excitement 

As, far and near, cheer after cheer burst forth with thrilling 


The engines throbbed like throbbing hearts of living, 

moving things ; 
Ship after ship, like giant bird, spread out her giant wings : 


Beyond the port, beyond the fort and frowns of Signal Hill, 
The cheers on shore we faintly heard, and heard more 
faintly still. 

Before our bows the waters hissed, and gurgled far behind ; 

They leaped and laughed along the sides and sported in 
the wind. 

The frowning northern headland passed, the wheel was 
made to spin — 

With " Yo, heave ho ! " we gaily hauled the starboard- 
braces in. 

On fled the fleet, and wildly well the lively Dolphin flew 

Where, snow bedight and bathed in light, lay storm-worn 

The wind increased : as bar of steel became each weather- 
shroud — 

Like strings of some colossal harp they softly played aloud. 

The Ship is overtaken by a Storm. 

The sun went down, and, as it sank, put on an angry glow. 
Dark clouds uprolled all edged with gold ; then came the 

blinding snow 
And hid the masts and men aloft who furled the flapping 

sails ; 
It whirled about the deck and massed against the leeward 


Then darkness came — the night closed round, a very night 

of nights ! 
'Twas like the grave, save where the wave received the 

Dolphirts lights. 
The wind came fiercely from the east ; and, strange as it 

may seem, 
I saw those rowers with their oars of my late ghastly dream ! 


Around, about, and in and out the ghastly oarsmen plied ! 
I saw with strange distinctness how they scorned the wind 

and tide. 
With more than awe, I thought, I saw a helper underneath ! 
The pallid steersmen shook their heads and ground their 

ashen teeth. 

The shriek and plunge I heard once more, and near the 

leeward side 
The snow-white hand appeared again above the surging 

Loud cries I heard, like cries of men beneath a breaking 

I put my fingers in my ears and called on God to save. 

Up went the Dolphiiis reeling hull towards the inky skies, 
Then down abyss of moan and hiss as if no more to rise ; 
While, far above, the blackened waves in mass on mass were 

With roar and dash like thunder-crash of some dismantled 


She staggered 'neath the tempest's blasts — they fell like 

falling lead ! 
I lost control of my drear soul, and wished that I were dead. 
I heard loud calls along the deck from my own stalwart crew, 
And, like the scream of that sad dream, they pierced me 

through and through ! 

She ships a Sea and loses a portion of her Crew. 

Ahead, abeam, a phosph'rous gleam I one dread moment 

saw ! 
The bravest heart gave sudden start and stood in trembling 



To see a wave — a moving grave — high on the Dolphin ride ! 
I held my breath, and felt that death was standing by my 

In direful sweep the whole dread deep, it seemed, on board 

had come 
With all the howling winds of heaven. Then I became 

undone ! 
I saw the wreck — I fell to deck — I felt the ship was 

doomed ! 
The icy water swept me on, and then I knew I swooned. 

When I recalled the dreadful scene the storm was past 

and gone ; 
A dizzy sun in misty sky in dizzy radiance shone : 
One pond'rous cloud lay in the west like some stupendous 

The wind was dead, the air was warm, the Dolphin 

strangely still. 

To south, and north, and far to east (the prospect 

saddened me !) 
A field of white shone in the light — one vast ice-laden sea ! 
Beneath the heavy western cloud the land was plainly seen : 
No sign of life ! the dead, white ice lay closely packed 


'T is strange, thought I, to wake and find the air so warm 

and bright ! 
The crew and mate I heard relate how passed the awful 

The wave I saw, they said, had swept a score from off the 

They did not know the men were gone till they had 

cleared the wreck. 


Till day they thought that / was lost — swept out to sea alone. 
When morning broke, beneath a boat they heard my feeble 

I looked, they said as looks the dead, I lay so white and 

cold : 
But lost alarm when I grew warm, outstretched within the 


The score of men the sea swept out they only knew were 

My soul ! — that rolling horror, how it hissed and thundered 

One half the boats went overboard, the other half were 

Excepting one, and she my own, which had been tightly 


One thing there was which wondrous seemed, the mate 

and men agreed, 
The tempest and the sea were stilled with most amazing 

And here I burned, for thoughts returned which I would 

fain have lost ! 
I saw the ghostly oarsmen row on seas of blackness tossed ! 

She is Ice-bound. 

Ten nights, ten days, and half a day the grim ice hemmed 

us round ; 
The sails we spread received no wind, they gave a flapping 

sound ; 
And steam was vain as wishes were — the gale had packed 

the ice ; 
The Dolphin lay by night and day within that ocean vise. 



Day after day with morning ray I climbed the stagnant mast ; 
Again, at noon, and later on with daylight nearly past : 
No trace of life could I discern, no sign of open sea — 
The spotless desolation 'whelmed my soul in agony. 

Each time I went aloft I scanned — I closely scanned the 

shore : 
On coming down I always felt I should have scanned it 

The thought was such it troubled much, till into grief I 

burst — 
That night I dreamed a solemn dream — I dreamed that 

I was cursed ! 

The Dream. 

Long years had fled, still overhead the sky unchanged 
looked on ; 

The ice had lain without a stain beneath the yellow sun ; 

No sound of life — no faintest sound had stirred the calm- 
like death : 

The winds were bound — the air of heaven had never 
blown a breath. 

Each lifeless sail had hung outspread against its torpid mast 
Till changeless day had wrought decay — they dropped to 

deck at last : 
The once strong ship a victim lay of cankerworm and rust ; 
The hull and cordage, masts and yards, were crumbling 

into dust. 

About the deck, in twos and threes, three hundred corpses 

I shed no tears ; but dismal fears consumed me night and 



No fret I saw — the awful law of Nature stood repealed ! 
A fearful sign, I felt it mine, of fate for ever sealed. 

They — mates and men — had dropped away to sleep the 

sleep of death; 
And, dumb for years, had spoken but to curse with dying 

I lived alone, and fate decreed to live for evermore. 
And what the cause ? T was simply this — I had not gone 

on shore. 

He goes Aloft once more and determines to walk 
to the Shore. 

When I awoke, with telescope I went aloft again 

And closely scanned the distant land, but scanned it all in 

vain : 
I saw but lifeless rock and snow in dismal chaos piled ; 
No habitation I discerned — no woman, man, or child. 

My vivid dream I could but deem a subject for my mirth; 
And yet I felt I had to go and walk upon the earth. 
For peace of mind, I left behind the Dolphin and her crew ; 
And peace of mind came strangely back as near the land I 

I hastened on and hastened more — I scorned the roughest 

And saw, at length, with failing strength, men stretched 

upon the snow. 
I counted them. Just twenty men, as if they slumbered 

there ! 
With frozen eyes, with frozen clothes, and matted frozen 



I called the men, and called again, like one in sorest need; 
But no response. They did not stir or give the slightest heed ! 
These men, said I, are not asleep upon that frozen bed. 
Conviction rushed upon my mind : I knew that they were 

The men I felt were my own men swept over by the wave : 
Though lost at sea, some strange decree forbade an ocean 

My senses swam — a darkness fell — I heard the dip of oars. 
The darkened river flowed again, and bore the phantom 


I heard again the shriek and plunge beside the river bank ! 
Then all was silent : mind and sense became a sable blank. 

He falls into a Trance. 

When thought returned, I heard the tramp of feet in 

measured tread, 
And I was borne as one is borne to rest among the dead. 

No sound I heard of spoken word — naught but the 

tramping sound 
Of heavy men, fourscore and ten, upon the frozen ground. 
Fourscore and ten of my own men (I felt as chilled as lead) 
Had come and found, as they supposed, their missing 

captain dead. 

No power to move or speak had I, but still I plainly saw 
A brilliant night, and dismal sight that 'whelmed my soul 

in awe. 
I strove to speak, I strove to shriek ! What power, 

thought I, can save? 
With twenty more, from off the shore, they bear me to the 

grave ! 


My limbs were stiff and felt as if my life had really fled : 
And I was cold, most strangely cold, cold as the frozen 

I lay in trance, from which a word— a single word had 

A curse, thought I, is on me laid — a direful curse 

indeed ! 

The long procession stopped at length beside a gaping 

grave : 
I dumbly prayed and earnestly — "Oh, pity me and save !" 
The grave appeared perdition deep as, one by one, the men 
Were laid to rest in double row — ten men were laid on ten. 

I wondered why they did not lay my body with the rest — 
My body with the soul inside and earth upon the breast ! 
I heard the filling of the grave, I heard each hollow blow 
On frozen breasts, of falling clods of mingled earth and 

He is carried to the Ship. 

Then spake the mate — "The captain take and to the 

Dolphin go!" 
As I was borne across the ice I saw the moon was low ; 
And ere the Dolphin's side was reached, I thought I saw 

That sign of day, the steady ray of silver morning star. 

With face upturned, upon the deck my form was gently 

From pieces of the broken boats an uncouth coffin made. 
The sound of saws and hammer-strokes rang on the 

morning air; 
A flag was laid upon my face, I had such glassy stare. 


When morning came I lay within my rough and narrow 

Like many more, as I believe, encoffin'd ere they 're dead ! 
For me the ray of gladsome day was turned to blackest 

night — 
The coffin hid, with fastened lid, the sun's beloved light. 

I knew they bare, but knew not where; I felt the place 

And, later, learned they had upturned the one remaining 

And laid my coffin underneath to keep it from the spray. 
In silence, darkness and despair their living captain lay ! 

I heard them walk — I heard them talk — I heard them joke 

and jest ; 
I heard them sport — I heard them work — I heard them go 

to rest : 
Each minute seemed a life of man, and every hour an age, 
The centre of my book of life a black unwritten page. 

The sounds about me lessened till two lonely watchers 

With heavy tread along the deck, and long and sadly talked. 
It seemed at length that even they had also gone to rest, 
And silence for eternity had closed about my breast ! 

A Gale releases the Ship. 

At last I heard the sound of wind — a sigh about the masts. 
The sound increased, the wind increased and came with 

hollow blasts : 
It mingled with the shouts of men who hailed the coming 

And ran aloft and from the yards unfurled the willing sail. 


The ice began to move and moan ; the ship began to creak 
And move like some colossal thing awaking out of sleep. 
I knew the wind was off the land and blowing far to sea ; 
The engines beat like beating heart that struggles to be free. 

The Dolphin had declared a war 'gainst her relentless foes : 
Her ally was the whistling wind that swept upon the floes. 
She shook and quivered, urging on and ever urging through, 
With creaking masts, with straining shrouds, and shouting 
of her crew. 

I heard the wind about the deck— its heavy, dismal sigh : 
With solemn moan, like stifled groan, it passed my body 


Then fiercely smote the invert boat as with intent to break 
And rend the shelter from above, and made my coffin shake ! 

Receiving blows upon her bows the Dolphin forced her way : 
The ice went grinding by her sides throughout the dismal 

I felt the ship begin to roll and heard the dash of sea : 
The freedom of the motion told the ship was also free. 

The wind increased — and still increased ! I heard them 

shorten sail 
And pull the ropes and chains about, and say 'twould 

prove a gale. 
My coffin rose and sank again as rose and sank the ship, 
And to and fro beneath the boat I felt it slowly slip. 

The heavy waves began to dash and smite the Dolphin's rail; 
And then a blast came rushing past and brought the 

cutting hail — 
On all afloat it fiercely smote, in menace, one would think. 
I felt the ship in tremor poised upon an awful brink J 


I felt her sink ! — a deaf ning crash — like thunder-peals and 

rain — 
A direful sound which told that she had shipped a sea again 
I heard, with cries of terrored men who called to Heaven 

to save : 
The Dolphin's deck was all awreck beneath a rolling wave. 

Her one remaining boat was smashed, and hurled from 

over me; 
My coffin was upborne, I thought, and carried far to sea ! 
But no — it smote against a mast and went to pieces there ! 
On face and hands I felt a rush of wet and chilly air. 

He awakens from his Trance, saves the Ship from 
destruction, and hears his Wedding Bells. 

Throughout my frame I felt return of precious, conscious 

I stood upon my feet and saw the elements at strife. 
Some men were clinging might and main, and some lay on 

the deck ; 
I heard the mate the order give to " Clear away the wreck !'> 

The weather shrouds I firmly grasped and shouted to the 

Who, terror-stricken, saw in me a sign of saddest fate : 
I stood so near, a cry of fear he gave from depth of soul. 
The helmsmen fled, and left the ship without the wheel's 

control ! 

With heavy lurch she turned aside upon her heaving bed ; 
With cries of woe the crew let go and from around me fled. 
I called aloud to calm their fears, but called aloud in vain : 
The ship, unguided, lay a prey to the engulfing main ! 


With sound like thunder up aloft the close-reefed canvas 

flapped ; 
The rudder chain beat on the deck (it seemed like death 

that rapped !) ; 
Abeam, an inky mass uprose — I knew no power could save 
If no one held the helm, and helped the ship to stem the 


As quick as thought I grasped the wheel, and round the 

Dolphin flew ! 
Oh, joy to hear the ringing cheer then uttered by the 

The dismal flaps and raps surceased as on the vessel fled ; 
The men ran aft, the hand to grasp of him they thought 

was dead. 

The bells again ! — those mellow bells I heard in dreams 

before ; 
A madly merry peal they seemed upon a distant shore. 
I heard them, but the crew heard not their sweet and 

mystic chime ; 
They rang in rote with dulcet note, and rang in perfect 


" Ring on ! " I cried ; " ring on, O bells ! — ring on for ever- 
more ! 
And waft my soul to her I love, on Scotland's distant shore; 
Ring on ! — ring on above the storm, above the surging tide ; 
Ring sweetly on and let me dream I linger by her side ! 

" Ring on ! and let calm peace once more my harassed 

spirit bless — 
The peace which soothed the ills of life, the peace of her 

caress ; 


Ring on ! and let me hear again that voice so low and sweet. 
Oh, let the lips that fondly love the lips beloved meet ! " 

The sailors stood around, amazed to hear me talk of bells 
So far at sea, in such a storm, amid the ocean's swells : 
But sweet the dream (if dream it was), surpassing sweet to 

For sorrow spread her wings and fled — sank 'neath the 

heaving sea. 

The Storm passes away, and a Night of great Beauty 

The tempest lost its fury and a calm crept over all ; 

The billows doffed their snowy caps as night spread out 

her pall. 
A scene, beyond a poet's dream and fancy's farthest flight, 
Lay spread around the Dolphin on that well-remembered 


No scene the world presents to man can such a scene 

surpass : 
We sailed among the scattered ice upon a sea of glass ; 
The sky was cloudless when the moon in full -orbed 

radiance rose 
From out the eastward-stretching sea, beyond ten thousand 


At first upon the crags afar, and on those crags alone, 
Beyond a world of tender shade the mellow moonlight 

shone ; 
But every star which shed a ray from out the cloudless blue 
Had dropped its sister in the sea and pierced it through 

and through. 


As more towards her zenith sailed the silver satellite, 
The nearer crags, and nearer still, received her modest light, 
Till all the ice became so white, itself a radiance threw — 
A world of bright, unsullied light on bright, unsullied blue. 

That wondrous night and wondrous light I never need recall ! 
They stay with me — the ship and we the centre of it all. 
The sailors begged me to relate (it would the scene enhance) 
How I had passed the fearful hours of my most fearful trance. 

They heard, with awe, of all I saw, and my unuttered woe. 
I did not think the tale was one to cause the tears to flow ; 
But such it was — I saw each hardy sailor silent weep 
When I recalled the score of dead and grave so dark and 

And when I said I wondered why they did not hide me too, 
They came, unmanned, to grasp my hand, with "Captain, 

God bless you ! " 
Then — then I heard (but they heard not) the bells again 

a-chime ; 
The silent ice appeared enrapt, the stars to twinkle time. 

And in my heart I said, " Ring on ! — ring on for evermore ! 
And waft my soul to her I love on Scotland's distant shore! 
Ring on ! — I feel her spirit near, my troubled soul to bless ; 
Ring on ! — till I, in fancy, feel her gentle hand's caress." 

When peace enfolds and pleasure thrills, the flight of time 

is fleet, 
And we, like dancers, follow time on swift and blithesome 

The night seemed hardly half gone by, when, on the 

darkened skies 
I saw the rosy blush of morn, and then, the sun uprise. 


He Sleeps and Dreams again. 

Exhausted nature's law is stern — she bids us all obey. 
With peaceful mind I went to rest and slept till near mid- 
And in my dreams the city's quays I saw, sea-worn and brown : 
A perfect day — the Dolphin lay at anchor off the town. 

Beside the ship I heard the dip of quickly plying oars ; 
I hailed the boat with joyous shout : was answered by the 

I saw them reach the Dolphin's side and rock upon the 

The helmsman held a letter up as I looked down the side. 

I saw my name and knew by whom the letter had been 

A rain of bright delight I felt upon my soul descend, 
Then broke the seal and read with joy, and as I read I woke. 
I heard again the engine's throb and piston's steady stroke. 

The Fleet is seen. 

With merry heart I went on deck and paced me to and fro; 
The ship was making steady way — about eight knots or so. 
The ice had somewhat closed around, a way we had to force; 
Some floes which lay athwart the bows most tortuous made 
the course. 

A mist upon the landward ice had all the morning lain ; 
But wind came with the afternoon and made it clear again. 
At length we saw a fleet of ships about ten miles ahead — 
Each one sent up a cloud of smoke and had her canvas 


I ran aloft with telescope the ships and ice to view. 
The ice was as it was with us, and they were urging through — 
Were urging through with ev'ry sail and ev'ry pound of 

steam ; 
While all alive with countless seals the landward floes were 


Soon, like a steed spurred on in war, the trusty Dolphin sped 
With quickened pulse and straining wings before the breeze 

Three hundred men upon her deck in their excitement 

At every sheet of ice she pierced and every floe she cleared. 

The Ship is laden and returns to St. Johns. 

A stronger wind came up astern and helped her on her way ; 
The wail of seals we plainly heard long ere the close of day. 
That night, beneath the moon and stars a bloody scene was 

spread — 
The seals lay piled upon the floes, full twenty thousand 


The noonday's virgin ice was stained — it reeked in crimson 

As some fair piece of daisied land beneath a battle's flood. 
At break of day the blood-stained hands the murderous 

hunt renewed; 
The sun went down on ships and men in blood alike 


At eve next day but one, the ships were deeply laden all, 
And Nature, moved to pity, dropped a widespread snowy 


The stars looked down on purity where bloody stains 

had been. 
The snow was like forgetfulness which wraps a battle-scene. 

The Dolphin's head to south was turned. Success had 

banished care. 
A countless host of screaming gulls about us wheeled in 

A north east wind came up behind and piped a merry tune ; 
The laden ships, we all agreed, would drop their anchors 


Ice, Storm, and Shipwreck. 

But on the silent treach'rous tide the frozen masses wheeled ; 
The route we had to travel south King Frost securely sealed ; 
Of no avail was steam or sail, and so we helpless lay ; 
Dark clouds that night hid all from sight, and flying snow 
next day. 

The blinding drift without a rift hid e'en the masts from 

view — 
I could not see the nearest man among the Dolphi7is crew. 
The wind, the ice, the driving snow seemed filled with 

vengeance all; 
Dark woe was spread abroad o'erhead, and seemed about 

to fall. 

The north-east gale beat like a flail and tighter made the 

floes — 
With firmer grip they held each ship, while mass on mass 

The laden hulls, like things in pain, began to groan and 

As if to make full concert to the wild tornado's shriek. 


Eight bells had scarcely struck when came faint cries of 

dire distress — 
A ship, we knew, had come to grief, but which we could 

not guess. 
The cries were like the cries of men who called from out 

a tomb — 
The snow so dense, the cold intense, and most intense the 


Then came a sound like boom of waves against a hollow 

With crash of masts ! We knew that ship would see the 

land no more. 
We blew the Dolphiiis signal-horn, and heard the horns afar, 
Subdued and almost lost like groans amid the storm of war. 

Again that booming dismal sound came swelling through 

the snows, 
With crash of rending hull and deck and moaning of the 

floes — 
Then cries again of men in pain exposed to wind and cold. 
By tongue of man such horrors can be never duly told ! 

It seemed a dream, an awful dream ! to suit the troubled 

Of one whose crimes of former times forbade his spirit rest. 
Men cried for help we could not give. To leave the ship 

was death, 
With blinded eyes, with frozen limbs, and snow-extinguished 


By crash of deck the ship awreck we knew to windward lay, 
And knew too well the friendly sounds we made were borne 


As sea-bird's cry is made to die along a stormy strand 
While ocean raves and throws its waves high on the humid 

Loud creaked the Dolphin's sturdy hull ; the ice more firmly 

grasped : 
She like an egg within the hand of giant firmly clasped. 
We tried the pumps — four feet we found, the ship still 

leaking fast; 
The bravest of the brave on board a moment stood aghast. 

The storm was like this storm to-night, with added snow 

and sleet ; 
It almost drowned that dreadful sound, the pump's dull, 

steady beat. 
We yearned for day, and prayed its ray would change or 

lull the gale: 
Without a change no human hand could be of least avail ! 

The wind releases the Ship, and the St. John's 
Haven is reached. 

The wind veered round, and veered again ; fog hid the 

world from sight; 
We drifted six succeeding days, and each succeeding night. 
The storm was spent, the ice was rent, and scattered east 

and south; 
To our surprise our wondering eyes beheld the harbour's 


Full speed ahead /—on, on we sped with willing heart and 

Towards the cliffs and rugged rifts of fir-clad Newfoundland. 
We inward passed with flags half-mast; our hearts both 

sad and sore 
For widows who would weep for those on stormy Labrador. 


Again the bells ! — I heard them peal as plainly as I hear 
The gusts which shake this inn to-night, and, Oh, so sweet 

and clear ! 
Bell after bell — each silver sound fell like a falling star : 
Now pealed they near the trusty ship, and now they pealed 


The ringers had, I thought, gone mad — they rang so wildly 

What joy to hear again those tones so sweetly ebb and 

swell ! 
I almost wept — a trembling crept through tingling nerve 

and brain 
While fell the sounds as fast and clear as falls the summer 


Within my heart I said, " O, bells, ring on for evermore ! 
Ye waft my soul to her I love on Scotland's distant shore. 
Ring on ! ye make me think I hear that voice so low and 

sweet ; 
Ring on until the lips that love and lips beloved meet ! " 

I walked the deck, and, walking, dreamed. The laughing 

of the rills 
I heard again 'neath summer sun amid the Sidlaw Hills. 
Once more I thought she nestled close within my arm's 

And said, " Oh ! tell of all befel amid the drifting floes." 

Bright tears of joy were in my eyes to see that gentle face 
So full of love, like God's above, so full of truth and grace — 
To think I felt again the throb of that unsullied heart, 
So like a babe's, that vowed for me to bear a woman's part. 



The Skip enters Port, and he hears from Home. 

Those thoughts of mine gave wings to time, for ere I wist 

we lay 
With upfurled sails and anchor down within the quiet bay. 
Though glad was I of rest in port and such success at sea, 
More glad was I to smile and sigh o'er words from dear 


How day and night, she prayed for me, and wore about her 

My pictured face to keep it warm " because ' twas cold 

on deck " : 
Had kissed the gifts which I had made, had kissed them 

o'er and o'er 
When wind and waves had banished sleep along the 

Scottish shore. 

Long, long replies and fond replies I sent to cheer her 

heart ; 
And said "Once home, I'll no more roam nor from my 

lassie part : 
She '11 no more weep and banish sleep with fret and fears 

for me 
When nights are dreary, dark and long, and storms are 

out at sea." 

(My tale is long — forgive me if my tale be also dull.) 

The wind and ice had sadly strained the stalwart Dolphin's 

From last affray she wounded lay, and needed time to 

heal — 
That fearful grip which wrecked the ship had strained 

her, deck and keel. 


We hoisted out, with laugh and shout, the oily wealth below; 
The tackle clicked as gaily tramped the sailors to and fro. 
On deck and side, from rail to tide, the caulkers mallets rang — 
From rise of sun to set of sun they toiled and joked and sang. 

As, day by day, the trusty ship arose from out the sea 

We saw her iron plates were wrenched, and some had 

broken free — 
Good proof of contest most severe, that like a trusty knight 
She did not quail, but rode in mail and won the deadly fight. 

Though other ships put out to sea to hunt the seal again, 
We had to lie reluctant by, and strive with might and main 
To make the Dolphin fit to sail upon a farther flight — 
To regions where a restless sun puts off approach of night ! 

As day by day we toiled the air grew warm and warmer 

still ; 
The melting snow made rivers flow down each surrounding 

hill ; 
The whitened town grew sombre brown : and here and 

there were seen, 
Rejoicing in return of spring, the meadows growing green. 

The Ship sails for Davis Strait in pursuit of 

We sailed at last ; and long we watched, upon our larboard 

The stately cliffs along the coast of boist'rous Newfoundland — 
We watched them fade, as fades a cloud, away to south 

and west. 
The Dolphin's fins for months to come could know no 

more of rest. 


For days we saw no living thing but feathered fedaries 
And, here and there, a frightened seal which plunged 

beneath the seas. 
Both wind and waters fell asleep in slumber calm and still — 
A peace profound lay all around, and we dreamed not of ill. 

Far in the north, when summer reigns and cloudless is 

the sky, 
Like structures vast, with domes and spires, the bergs go 

floating by — 
A mighty Venice drifting south with buildings spotless white, 
On which a circling midnight sun sheds unremitting light. 

At length, beneath this midnight sun the Dolphin made 

her way 
'Mid silent bergs on silent seas lit by the restless ray. 
Each crystal mass as in a glass beheld its form upset — 
Each cliff and crag, each wall and dome and fretted 


About each base the ocean's pulse in silence softly beat, 
And laved and waved in frost-made cave and fissure's blue 

As waves and laves the rising tide along the sea-worn shores, 
Or waters of a caverned rock are stirred by passing oars. 

In search of whales we sailed for weeks, and marked 

success was ours; 
The weeks went swiftly by like days, the days went by like 

That harpoon-points are tipped with death the struggling 

monsters found, 
While day and night the crimson sun went circling round 

and round. 


Success was such the Dolphin's stem was early southwards 

For Scotland's shore, for wife and friends, my spirit ached 

and yearned. 
How glad was I to feel gone by the years that bade me 

roam ! 
In heart I joined the watch below that sang of " Home, 

sweet Home!" 

We sailed along the Greenland coast, we sighted Cape 

One night occurred a strange event of which I'll briefly 

And though, perhaps, you '11 not believe that such a thing 

could be, 
Remember you are landsmen and know nothing of the 


A Mysterious Occurrence, 

The night was bright; our hearts were light and all to 

mirth unstrung; 
Our blithest tales were lightly told ; our blithest songs were 

To music at the Dolphin's bows where danced the briny 

What sailor's heart can be but gay whose ship is sailing 


The bell had struck the midnight hour; the air was still 

as death, 
And from the rising of the moon it had not blown a breath. 
The look-out on the barricade called loudly aft, " I see 
A light upon the starboard bow ! " The light was plain to 



So near the light, so bright the light and red the gleaming ray, 
I gave command — " Full speed aback ! * — to check the 

Dolphin's way : 
Then blew the lusty signal-horn and waited for reply. 
The ruddy light had disappeared ! and much surprised 

was I. 

Again the Dolphin went ahead — again appeared the light : 
Twas still upon the starboard bow, and just about as bright. 
Again the ship was put aback and gave her blatant cry : 
The light ahead again had fled, and silence gave reply. 

Once more the Dolphin went ahead — once more appeared 

the light : 
Once more upon the starboard bow and just about as bright. 
Once more I said — " Full speed aback ! " — once more the 

signal cry : 
The ruddy light went out again and more surprised was I ! 

The sailors talked in softened tones that told of vague 

alarm ; 
They felt the light to be a sign of some approaching harm. 
The watch below appeared on deck with wonder in their 

And gave expression to the fears which they could not 


Each mounted to the barricade, or stood along the rail, 
And vainly hoped to catch a glimpse of some approaching 

While every eye intently gazed, where thrice the light had 

A phosphorescent glow was spread and blackness lay 



A Phantom Wreck rises from the Deep and sinks 

A tremor seized upon the frame, and silence on the lip 
Of every conscious man on board of that unconscious ship. 
At length a cry of terror broke, as from the lighted wave 
A long-forgotten wreck arose from out her ocean grave : 

And as she rose the glow increased and shed a lurid light 
Which lit a circle of the sea and hid the orbs of night — 
It shone upon the Dolphin's hull, on every yard and 

mast — 
It fell upon the Dolphin's crew, who stood and gazed aghast. 

Sea-worms had eaten through the sides and through the 

mouldered deck, 
And we beheld the ghastly ribs of the uprising wreck ; 
On plank and rib and rusty bolt the sombre seaweed hung; 
And, dragged from out profoundest depths, uncouthest 

creatures clung. 

Her masts were standing, still erect, and from her yards 

and ropes 
The rotten canvas downwards streamed, like disappointed 

'Twas plain to us that when she sank she carried all her 

sail — 
Destruction like a thunderbolt left none to tell the tale ! 

A sight more sad and grisly never, never swam the tide ! 
We heard the water trickling down and streaming from the 

side — 
It poured a score of cataracts from off the fretted deck, 
And for a time it hid from view what lay within the wreck, 


Soon through the gaping planks and ribs, which now 

appeared to flame, 
The voices of a hundred men in cries of terror came ; 
And we beheld the drowned men who must have been below 
When came the unexpected squall which laid the vessel low ! 

The water pouring in again through every crack and rent, 
The phantom ship (if such it was) began a slow descent ; 
The ghastly light within and round became as slowly 

dimmed ; 
And though 't was calm we heard, as 't were, the shrieking 

of the wind. 

We watched the hull — we watched the masts, down-sinking, 

fade away — 
The tattered sails like clinging crape upon a rainy day. 
The waters to a centre rolled as they had rolled before 
Above the crew decreed by Fate to see the land no more — 

Above the men who hoped and loved — above the men 

who sleep, 
With all their hopes and all their love, five thousand 

fathoms deep. 
Oh, times there are I envy them the squall that overbore ! 
Far better had it been if I had never seen the shore. 

The moon and stars looked down again. The Dolphin 

seemed asleep 
And motionless — like all her crew — on an unruffled deep. 
Spellbound were we, and not a hand or foot on board was 

Our minds were with the phantom filled ; we uttered not 

a word. 


And thus for minutes we remained ere we the course 

With loss of all our merriment and half our fortitude. 
It seemed that e'en the oaken ship of sadness bore a freight, 
And felt the burdened hearts on board to be an over-weight. 

The Ship goes on her way, and again 
he dreams. 

For days beneath a leaden sky we sailed a quiet sea. 

I felt the future had in store a sad surprise for me ; 

But what the grief, or why the grief, my heart could not 

divine : 
I only knew the grief was there, and knew the grief was 


By day and night no rest I knew. I had a haunted mind ; 
I saw before my daunted eyes the horror left behind 
Now rising slowly from the wave, now sinking slowly down ! 
My sailors' glance appeared askance, on every face a frown. 

With knitted brow and muttered words I paced me to 

and fro; 
I saw in every man on board a fast increasing foe ; 
I felt as though, like Cain of old, I had my brother slain 
And all who saw beheld a brow that bore a bloody stain. 

My sleeping hours were all consumed by visions dire and 

And I would wake with sudden start and call aloud in fear ! 
I thought the crew had mutinied, and on the quarter-deck 
Declared my crimes had doomed them all and brought the 

phantom wreck. 


Now round about they stood and gazed, and like to fiends 

they seemed ; 
With parted lips and clenched teeth they bitterly blasphemed ; 
And now they rushed and bore me down, while winds and 

billows roared, 
And I was cast, as Jonah was, in terror overboard ! 

I thought I sank for days and weeks, but ne'er the bottom 
found ; 

Mile after mile of water pierced, the depth lay still pro- 
found ! 

While far above, a floating speck— as 't were a baby's boat 

No bigger than a cockle shell — I saw the Dolphin float. 

Down — down, and still for ever down ! — the waters endless 
seemed : 

The daylight far above my head weak and uncertain 
gleamed ; 

And yet remaining depths appalled, I saw them so pro- 
found ; 

While monsters all unknown to man came swimming round 
and round ! 

For years, it seemed to me, I sank ! At length, beneath, 

I saw 
A sight which made me tremble, and which filled my soul 

with awe. 
I saw the wreck — the phantom ship, and all her ghastly 

I heard again their terrored cries that pierced me through 

and through ! 

Between her carious masts I passed, between her fretted sails, 
And touched her deck amidships and midway 'twixt her rails. 


Beneath her barricade there hung a tongueless brazen bell ; 
I saw the name that there was graved. That name I dare 
not tell! 

When I the name had read I woke! and heard my boatswain 

The starboard watch to come on deck, because a sudden 

Had swept across the Dolphin's course, and seemed about 

to sweep 
The masts from out her trusty hull and her from off the 


The swish along her flying sides revealed she travelled fast. 
I heard the tramp of seamen's feet — they ran to climb 

I heard the howling of the squall, the humming of the stays ; 
I felt a heavy lurch, and then I heard the falling sprays. 

During a Storm a Man is lost Overboard, and 
the Captain sees strange Sights. 

I rushed on deck and looked around; the wind was hot 

and fierce; 
The gloom beyond the binnacle no human eye could pierce, 
Save when a flash of lightning for an instant rent the pall — 
Then from the topsail yard I saw a struggling seaman fall. 

"Man overboard!" I cried, and put the Dolphin's head 

In vain the throwing of the buoy, in vain the sailors' shout ; 
Vain all the efforts which we made in darkness so profound — 
The darkness of a mine of coal a mile beneath the ground, 


We searched and strove while hope remained, and after 

hope had fled; 
We searched and strove although we knew the missing one 

was dead ! 
We lingered at the search because so sad at heart were we 
For orphans and a widow who were waiting in Dundee. 

All night, all day, all night again, the squalls, like living 

Which hovered round and over us and beat us with their 

Continued to imperil us and lash the angry waves — 
The hungry waves, which hissed and surged, and gaped 

like yawning graves ! 

The terrors which I suffered through those nights and 

through that day 
Imagination cannot paint, nor human tongue essay. 
Through every hour of light and dark, by terrored vision 

I saw the rowers, boats, and oars of that mysterious dream ! 

Behind the ship I saw the hand thrust upwards from the 

And sailed we fast, or sailed we slow, the hand still followed 

me ! 
'T was white by day — as white as snow ; and, just as in my 

All through the night 'twas lustrous white and shed a 

ghastly gleam ! 

The hand had for my fevered sight a strange attractiveness, 
It burned within my fevered brain, and caused me such 


I fain would plunge me overboard, but power I could not 

The hand was like the Pole, and ruled the compass of my 


Those awful sights ! I see them now ! They haunt me, and 

they must 
Until my spirit takes its flight, my body goes to dust ! 
The dreams I dream, and facts I live are strangely interlaced : 
The facts in dreams, the dreams in facts may all be plainly 


That storm, like all the storms of life, was born and lived 

and died : 
The wave, its mother, sadly sobbed ; the wind, its father, 

Our lives themselves are but as waves by windy passions 

tossed : 
The winds of passion die away, and then the lives are lost. 

A seaman's memory is but brief (though mine, Alas ! is 

The storms of yesterday are lost in present sun and song. 
Good reason had the Dolphin's crew to do as sailors do — 
The sun would not be far to west ere Scotland rose to 


Land is seen. 

Six bells had struck — the metal scarce had time to still its 

When " Land ahead ! " was called aloud and with a lusty 

I felt a throbbing at my heart, the tears within my eyes, 
As like a cloud from out the sea I saw the land uprise. 


The bells again ! those mystic bells I heard so oft before — 
A madly merry peal they seemed on Scotland's rising shore. 
I heard them, but the crew heard not their sweet and 

rapid chime : 
They rang in rote with dulcet note, and rang in perfect time. 

" Ring on ! " I said within my heart ; " ring on for evermore, 
And waft my soul to her I love on yonder rising shore ! 
Ring on above the gentle breeze and gently swelling tide — 
Ring sweetly on, and let me dream I linger by her side ! 

" Ring on till peace and joy once more my haunted spirit 

bless : 
1 11 know them not until I feel the thrill of her caress ! 
Ring on ! ye make me think I hear that voice so low and 

sweet ! 
Ring on ! and let the lips that love the lips beloved meet." 

At cry of " Land ! " the watch below came hurrying up on 

Forgotten were the storms and bergs, the sad mysterious 

Assembled on the barricade the crew gave three times 

And then one more — the loudest cheer — for bonny old 


The land we saw was Sutherland, and Caithness further 

For hearts and eyes the shores of both spread one delight- 
ful feast. 

At later day to starboard lay old Stroma all alight, 

And Duncansby within an hour was fading out of sight. 


A merry breeze from out the north made full the Dolphin's 

And laughing waves leaped lightly up to kiss her flying 

rails ; 
While every mile we left behind increased the sailors' 

mirth — 
Forgetting e'en the dead, we sped Dornoch and Moray 


As passed the night each coastal light a flash of welcome 

To all but me. They made me see, arise from out her 

The ghastly wreck, whose fretted deck I sank to in my 

dream ; 
Her brazen bell I saw too well by every friendly gleam ! 

The Ship reaches Dundee, and he hastens 
to his Home. 

At noon next day the Firth of Tay lay dancing in the sun. 
Oh ! glad were we that sight to see, and glad the voyage 

was done. 
No word of home for weary months spent on the rolling 

Makes e'en the sad feel madly glad at sight of home again. 

A misty world of hopes and fears we felt around us spread ! 
We wondered who was still alive; we wondered who was 

By gusts of thought the world was swept as into port we 

Some friends, we knew, had said adieu and that adieu 

their last : 


The wife so loved I longed to see, and passed with hasty 

The ships, the docks, the busy quays and each familiar 

I neither saw nor heard till I had pushed my door aside, 
With thoughts of her surprise and joy — my own, my 

bonnie bride ! 

A footstep on the stair I heard; my heart more quickly 

The white-haired mother's form I saw; she softly came 

to greet, 
And said, " My son, I 'm glad you Ve come." " My wife," 

said I, "is she — 
My bonnie belle, as sweet and well as when I left Dundee?" 

"No pain or grief is hers," she said, "and she is just as 

Come, let me take you to her side, be present when you 

The mother led me by the hand; we reached a blinded 

room — 
Its stillness told a bitter tale, recalled my dream and doom ! 

Pale tapers' light revealed a sight true men but once can 

see — 
A sight which froze my fevered blood and swept my joy 

from me! 
The ' Pride of Tay ' encoffined lay in her eternal rest ; 
A chaplet sweet lay at her feet ! one hand lay on her breast ! 

And lustrous white that ice-like hand beneath the tapers' 

glow ! 
It clasped within a last embrace a babe as white as snow ! 


One piercing cry, and only one — and then I senseless 

But what that lonely cry to me no tongue can ever tell. 

When passed the cortege through the street — when passed 

the ' Pride of Tay' 
To sleep upon the green hill-side, 'twas someone's wedding 

I heard the pealing of the bells that once had pealed for 

No wonder that I heard them ring when I was far at sea ! 

Within a month I trod again that sad familiar way 

To lay beside my bonnie bride the dead whose hair 

was grey — 
The form of her who took my hand, who softly came 

to greet 
And, weeping, saw the lips that loved the lips beloved 


Now like a sunken ship I lie within life's changeful sea ; 
Unheeded are its storms and calms — they 're all the same to 

From out the deep of many griefs from time to time I 

To tell the story of my loss to wondering ears and eyes — 

As rose the hideous phantom wreck, with fretted side 

and sail, 
And told how all unlooked-for and destructive was the gale 
Which plunged her and her joyous men, in spite of human 

A full five thousand fathoms deep, with all their hopes 

and fears! 



Part III. 
WLtet followed tbe Captain's Stors* 

" Oftentimes to win us to our harm, 
The instruments of darkness tell us truths ; 
Win us with honest trifles to betray us 
In deepest consequence." — Shakespeare, Macbeth. 

The Host expresses thanks and asks a Question, 

The story thus a termination found 

And filled our minds with thoughts of wreck and storm. 
The sailor sat as if in thought profound — 

A living picture one might name " Forlorn." 

The dreary storm that harassed all the night 

Still moaned and groaned like man in deep distress, 

Still piped and thundered round the weathered walls 
Like fifes and drums the devil might possess. 

And we could hear the distant breakers roar 
As mighty waves leaped up and thundered in : 

The blasts seemed louder, hoarser than before — 
Our silence, doubtless, magnified the din. 

For silence bound us when the speaker ceased, 

We half expecting he had more to say. 
More willing ears at festive board of old 

Ne'er hearkened to a stirring minstrel-lay. 

The host at length found words, and thus he spake : 
" We thank you, captain, for the tale you 've told ; 

But why conceal the name upon the bell ? 
In asking this, pray do not think me bold." 


" The name I saw upon the phantom bell 
For reasons of my own I must conceal : 
The secret is the measure of my life ; 
So urge me not the secret to reveal." 

Again we piled more wood upon the hearth, 
More broken pieces from the mouldering wreck. 
" That wood," the sailor said, " is Norway pine, 
And evidently portions of a deck." 

And leaning forth again he spread his hands 
To shade his eyes a little from the light, 

While we sat wondering if the tale were true, 
Told by this puzzling pilgrim of the night. 

Who was the man ? and whence could he have come 
At stroke of midnight, through the wind and rain ? 

We both refrained from asking, though we knew 
Our mental musing must be all in vain. 

The Captain induces the Host to tell a strange Story, 

" Host ! " said the sailor, " tell to me the tale 
Which hangs upon the fuel of your fire. 
'T is plain a ship has yielded up her life. 
Did she in peace or war of storm expire ? " 

" That 's more than I can tell, or any man. 

Let me explain," replied the kindly host. 
" The time and cause of loss are both unknown — 

One of the mysteries of the Cornish coast. 

" A year and thirteen days ago, a fearful gale 

Blew fiercely from the west — as 't blows to-night. 
The fishers said no ship could carry sail 

Between the sundown and the morning light 


" Of that, I 'm not a judge ; but this I know, 

From here to Orkney Islands wrecks were piled, 
And though I came here fifty years ago 
I can't recall a tempest half as wild. 

" Folk travelled miles and miles to see the seas 
That beat for days against the Cornish shore : 
And some who dwelt in Truro, I believe, 
Said that at night they heard the ocean roar. 

A Strange Old Barque. 

" The gale had done its worst the second day, 
And shifted to the west to try its hand ; 
And then it was we saw, just off the bay, 
A ship dismasted, drifting t'wards the land. 

" So deep was she a soggy log she seemed, 
Just light enough to keep itself a-swim ; 
While now to starboard, now to port she leaned 
And, plunging wildly, travelled slowly in. 

" Sometimes the seas completely hid the whole, 

Sometimes the stem or stern showed like a rock ; 
At last we saw her on the breakers strike 
With a tremendous and a deadly shock. 

" When she had struck she never stirred again, 
But quiet lay, by waves, like lions, torn — 
Lions with rocks for teeth to break her bones, 

Whose gnash and growl were by the winds inborne. 

" Like to a carcase through the day she lay ; 
The moon at night revealed the lions' grin. 
The coastguard said 't was just at break of day 
They tore their oaken victim limb from limb. 


" She came to shore in fragments large and small, 
Which for a quarter mile I saw outspread, 
Like broken bones, along the eastern beach — 
Between the outer and the inner head. 

" The stem and thirty feet of deck together came — 
Unsundered to the beach's inner end ; 
And when I saw the oak and copper bolts 

I wondered how the force of waves could rend. 

" The windlass still was clinging to the deck 
With fragment of a chain about it wound ; 
And nearly all the barricade remained — 

The after beam, with bell attached, was sound. 

" But signs there were elsewhere, the fishers said, 
The wood had been sometime beneath the sea ; 
Yet how the ship could sink and rise again 
Is quite beyond a landsman like to me — 

" Unless when sunken she was filled with salt. 
In such a case she might go down amain, 
And when the salt had melted in the hold 
Rise, like your phantom ship, to light again. 

The Windlass and the Bell. 

" The windlass lies half buried in the sand, 
Some twenty feet above high-water mark. 
The children play about it in the day, 
But no one ventures near it after dark. 

" The fishers say (and they believe it, too), 

That stormy nights they hear the windlass click 
And sailors sing as they an anchor weigh — 
They always hear this when the fog is thick. 


" The bell was taken from the barricade 

And on the village school was made to hang. 
It calls the urchins to their daily task — 
At nine and two o'clock I hear it clang. 

" And, strange to say, the children all declare 
The bell has some connection with a soul ; 
That when the ghostly sailors on the beach 
Are heaving anchor, they can hear it toll. 

" I don't know why, but I have kept the wood 
A year eleven days in my inn yard, 
But never burnt a billet till to-night, 

And shouldn't now but that it blew so hard 

" It brought to mind the wreck ; and then I said, 
1 Though true about the windless and the bell, 
I '11 make a fire from the old ship's bones' : 
And I must say they burn exceeding well. 

" The strangest feature of my tale is this — 
The shipping people tried and tried again 
To find the port from which the ship had sailed : 
No missing ship they found that bore the name.' 

Silence is kept for a space. 

While talked the host, the sailor silent sat 
Watching the antics of the yellow blaze, 

As if he mused on something far away — 
Some hidden secret of his by-gone days. 

He seemed to me to be more snowy white 
Than when he came abruptly to the inn ; 

And there was something in his blue eyes' light 
Which made me feel somewhat afraid of him. 


Afraid, because so like a spectre he, 

And yet more man-like than the most of men — 

A sort of walking human mystery 

Enshrining something passing human ken. 

I think the host to silence had relapsed 
A full two minutes, or perhaps e'en three, 

Before a muscle of the sailor moved : 
He seemed of self a lifeless effigy. 

The Captain asks a Question and makes a Revelation. 

At length he said, with gaze fixed on the host, 

And hands that clenched the chair on which he sat, 

" Friend, you have told me all about the ship, 
Except the name she bore. Pray what was that f " 

The host, surprised, returned the sailor's gaze, 
And feared, apparently, the name to tell ; 

But after briefest thought he slowly said, 
"The Destiny, 't is graven on the bell." 

A tremor passed throughout the sailor's frame, 
A startled look came o'er his ashen face ; 

Then rising quickly from his seat he walked, 
With knitted brows, the floor with rapid pace. 

He heeded not the lightning's vivid flash, 
And deaf appeared as noisy thunders pealed. 

The startled look and tremor of his frame 
The hidden name most clearly had revealed. 

The host and I assured were that we 

The cherished secret of the man could tell — 

The name that hung above the village school 
He in his dream saw on the phantom bell. 


Part IV. 
TLbc Sbfpwrecfc. 

" Farewell, brother ! — we split, we split, we split 1 " 

Shakespeare, The Tempest. 

A Distress Signal is heard, and Dawn breaks. 

While to and fro the sailor quickly passed, 
Our ears were startled by the distant boom 

Of signal gun, faint, but distinctly heard 

Just when the dawn's first glimmer lit the room. 

A cold, grey dawn it was, which looked as if 
The thunder's peal had pallid made its cheek, 

And rain had washed all colour from its robes — 
An ashen, eastern, far- extended streak. 

Again the gun's faint boom ! a ship we knew 
Was in distress upon the rocky shore. 

The pacing sailor paused with look intent 
And, with us, listened for the gun once more. 

We did not listen long ; the pausing storm 
More clearly made it sound. It seemed to be 

A groan, as if the dying ship saw death 
About to strike her from amid the sea. 

We left the inn, all three, and faced the storm, 
The rugged cliffs' most seaward edge to climb ; 

And, standing on a lofty precipice, 
Looked down and out upon a scene sublime. 


The Scene from the Cliffs. 

West, north, and east stretched out the angry sea 
In wild commotion, clad in driving spray, 

The billows racing like white steeds to land 
From Illogan to Padstow's narrow bay. 

We seemed to stand on crumbling battlements 
That crowned the crest of some old castle's walls, 

At base of which a countless host laid siege, 
While upwards rolled their mingled battle-calls. 

Wave after wave rolled in and upwards shot 

As if it willed old Ocean to undam ; 
The cliffs vibrating from the sturdy blows 

Dealt by the deep sea's swinging batt'ring-ram. 

Things distant, yet, were but in outline seen, 
But growing day made clear and clearer still 

The fashion of the struggling ship whose gun 

Had boomed and brought us to the storm-torn hill. 

A steamship helpless, having broken down, 
Her slender canvas, shattered in the gale, 

Fluttered like garments on her useless yards ; 

And, 'thwart the sea, she plunged her leeward rail. 

So low she lay we thought her water-logged, 
And from some troughs so sluggishly upbore 

We deemed her doomed to sink ere she should reach 
The rock-toothed lions waiting near the shore. 

Still on she came with tardy roll and plunge, 
While billows smote and leaped and overran — 

As some vast herd of cattle in stampede 

Smite and sweep o'er a prostrate, helpless man. 


At last she struck where struck the Destiny. 

We saw her tossed as by an angry steer, 
While to her rigging clung her battered crew 

'Mid bitter desolation steeped in fear. 

Along the beach we saw the fishers grouped 
Between the inner and the outer head. 

Their active inactivity revealed 

That hope of rescue in their minds was dead. 

The Captain says Farewell. 

The sailor-guest bade us a warm adieu 

And beachwards went, along a rugged track. 

Chilled to the bone, and wet as swimming dogs, 
The host and I determined to go back. 

Nor skill nor power had we to render aid 
To those who clung so madly to a rope. 

Like other men, when merely lookers on, 
We kept alive the tender flame of hope. 

What wonderful attractiveness has man 

When standing face to face with cruel death ! 

Wise stand with fools, and best with even worst, 
(The knave suppressed) to breathe a humane breath. 

As particles of steel are helpless drawn 
The loadstone by a mystic law to seek, 

The fascination of the doomed ship 

Drew us again to climb the stormy peak. 

Some signs there were the gale was nearly spent. 

The sun had reached and passed the mark of noon, 
And through the parts less dense of scudding clouds 

Its face shone forth as 't were a shrunken moon. 


A driving mist had spread a ragged veil, 
And all to seawards lay concealed behind. 

What of the ship ? Had she to pieces gone ? 
The dark uncertainty vexed sore the mind. 

We saw commotion on the distant beach — 

Fishers excited running to and fro ; 
But what had happened we could not divine, 

So to the scene determined we would go. 

Not without danger was the windy way. 

With cautious step the downward path we took. 
The storm had broken down the valley bridge — 

With peril crossed we through the maddened brook. 

The village streets deserted were by all — 
Swept by the volleys of the wind and rain ; 

And wives and children gazed with frightened face 
Behind the shelter of the rattling pane. 

We hastened through, thence o'er the inner head, 
And reached at last the wave-tormented shore, 

Where shouting men and frantic waters made 
A wildest concert with the gale's hoarse roar. 

A sight we saw which made our hearts to throb, 
And for a moment stopped our very breath — 

The centre of a group of fisher folk, 

Before us lay the midnight guest in death. 

A darker revelation yet awaited us — 

The ship and all her crew were of the past. 

It seemed a dream like to the captain's own, 
While dark reality smote us aghast 

The story of the drowning of the crew, 

And how the hoary sailor met his end, 
We listened to with more than wonderment, 

As told us by a simple fisher friend. 


Part V. 
TTbe jfteberman's Story* 

" From the first corse till he that died to-day, 
This must be so. 

Why should we in our peevish opposition 
Take it to heart ? " 

Shakespeare, Hamlet. 

The Manning of the "Petrel! 7 

'Twas nine o'clock. My mates and I were gathered on 

the beach 
Determined that in spite of storm we 'd try the wreck to reach. 
The stoutest and the strongest boat along the shore was mine; 
My mates and I made eight of crew, a stranger made the 


The stranger came at early morn : from whence we do not 

He watched the wreck, and smote his hands, and paced him 

to and fro, 
But spake to none and none to him ; the folk declared 

him mad, 
But I believe he knew the ship, and was exceeding sad. 

'T was on the windlass, all alone, that I observed him first ; 
And some declare, who saw him there, he gnashed his teeth 

and cursed : 
Of course they only fancied that. If fog had come in thick 
They would, no doubt, have all declared they heard the 

windlass click. 


At first, my mates and I supposed the best thing we could 

Would be to man the Petrel with a sturdy double crew. 
We thought the needed men would join without a second 

Though duty called, the storm appalled — their minds and 

hearts were surd. 

For once the hearts of Cornishmen were fitting hearts for 

slaves — 
They wore the shackles of a fear to face the Cornish waves. 
My mates and I then begged for one to take our vacant oar; 
But, as concerned the village-folk, in vain did we implore. 

There 's something in this circumstance I cannot under- 
stand — 
A rescue boat put out to sea and did so under-manned ! 
Did secret spell — I cannot tell — unnerve the Cornish arm ? 
My mates and I — I will not lie — all felt a vague alarm. 

We called aloud among the crowd, " One man to 

volunteer ! " 
But some refused because 't was " vain," and some refused 

from fear. 
Our men were never known before to fail to aid distress. 
The stranger, to the word " Will you ? " returned a ready 


He 's silent now, and low he lies upon the shingle there. 
A better oarsman never rowed, though white as foam his 

Perhaps the men who answered "No" were wiser men than 

we : 
If to our neighbours we were fools, we cowards couldn't be. 


The "Petrel" is Launched. 

The eastern side of Inner Head is somewhat worn away : 
'T was there with neighbours' help we launched. It forms 

a shallow bay; 
And seas just thereabout appeared a bit less wild, we thought : 
But launching anywhere to-day must be with danger fraught. 

While neighbours cheered we dashed around the point and 

pulled our best, 
And long I feared we should but prove ourselves the 

tempest's jest; 
For more than once, aye, fifty times, my mates and I held 

When broken billows, sweeping shorewards, threatened us 

with death. 

It seemed to me a miracle we got beyond the sands ! 

The task appeared to be too great for human hearts and 

hands — 
But get we did ! and, as the crests the Petrel upwards bore, 
Ahead we saw the breaking wreck, astern the crowded shore. 

We knew our friends were shouting words of cheer to urge 

us on ; 
And though their words to us were lost they made our 

muscles strong. 
Our women, hearing we had gone, soon scaled the windy 

We felt, although we could not see, the anxious tears they 


We strove and fixed our minds upon the souls on board 

the ship, 
The terrored heart, the moistened eye, the parched and 

trembling lip. 


I steered, and cheered as best I could the rowers' noble toil, 
Forgetting not the perils of the hissing water-coil. 

The stranger at his oar appeared to have the strength of ten 
And to impart by subtle art his strength to other men. 
Our wills became a part of his, and near the wreck we drew. 
The Cornish cliffs had never seen a more determined crew ! 

A quarter mile or little more the breakers windward lay — 
The PetrePs men were full of hope that this would be the day 
Of which, throughout the rest of life, 'twould be our 

modest boast 
We added to the glory of our native Cornish coast. 

Increasing hope increased the strength of every oarsman's 

As in the wreck's forerigging we beheld the sailors swarm. 
Two score and ten of fellow men ! Ah, what a sight to see ! 
Though twenty tempests blew we felt we 'd try to set them 


Each minute seemed as long as life ! we saw the ship was 

strained — 
We saw her deck amidships gaped. We saw the billows 

A mast'ry more and more complete — were rending her in 

While on the wind was borne to us the shrieking of her crew. 

We plainly saw to rescue all was more than man could do ; 
That we could take with us to land comparatively few. 
We feared that ere the Petrel came, a second time from shore 
The wreck, and those who clung to her, would surely be 
no more. 


The Storm drives the "Petrel" backwards, and the 
Wreck breaks asunder. 

Then came the sorest trial which we yet had undergone. 
Though strong we were, the awful storm was stronger than 

the strong. 
It drove us back ; and when again we near and nearer drew, 
Alas ! the wreck asunder broke and lost were all her crew. 

The after half sank like as lead; the foreship seemed to leap; 
The masts and yards went crashing down within the 

seething deep. 
Two score and ten of drowned men among the breakers lie ! 
'T was sad so many fellow-men could only see them die ! 

One wail most weird a moment rent and filled the 

maddened air — 
The falling sailors' final cry of horrible despair 
As down they plunged from life to death. 'T was like the 

wildest dream ! 
Both masts and men were swept away like straws adown a 


Long, long indeed my life will be if I forget that sight ! 
'T will be before my eyes by day and haunt my dreams by 

night ! 
Forever in my ears will ring, no matter where I go, 
That bitter, last expression of the sailors' dying woe ! 

What human tongue can ever tell — what human mind 

conceive — 
What mortal man can realize — what human soul receive 
The force and measure of the thoughts that pierced them 

like a thorn, 
That 'whelmed them like an angry sea, and swept them like 

a storm ? 


We hoped (a blessed thing is hope !) that havoc one would 

spare — 
Some wave in mercy sweep a soul from death and dark 

despair — 
Some swimmer with a madman's strength the roaring 

breakers cheat : 
But hope was vain ; the work of death could not be more 


We windwards kept the Petrel *s head and near the breakers 

crept ; 
We closely searched the noisy foam that swiftly past us 

And waited long to see a hand or hear a struggler's cry : 
In vain we strained the aching ear — in vain we strained the 


The Captain alarms the Fishermen. 

Then looked I on the stranger's face. It wore the hue 

of death ! 
His hands were to his forehead clasped ; he breathed with 

terror's breath, 
And looked like men of whom I've read, who to the 

gallows go — 
Who hear the knocking hand of death and turn as pale as 


A spectral light illumed his eyes — each glittered like a star. 
He sat as one who thinks he hears expected sounds afar, 
With fears that spring from out his doubt, and not from out 

his dread — 
Like one who dreams of converse with the spirits of the 




I knew not what to do or say — a spell was on me cast ! 
At such a time I dared do nought a single hand to gast, 
Lest all the Petrel* s quailing crew should sink in seamen's 

And have for sexton and for priest the angry winds and 


Then rose he in the Petrel's bow and faced the wind 

and sea; 
And, stretching forth his hands like some devoutest devotee, 
He spake as though a hearer stood within the mist and storm, 
And with the voice of one who felt dejected and forlorn — 

And said " Ring on, ring on, O bells ! Ring on for ever- 
more ! 
Ye waft my soul to her I love on Death's eternal shore. 
Ring on, then, bells above the storm, above the surging 

Ring sweetly on and let me dream I linger by her side ! " 

" My mates " I cried " the man is mad! About and pull for 

There may be wailing yet to-day along our village strand. 
We Ve duty done and lingered long ; we '11 linger now no 

more ! 
We have to think of waiting wives and babes upon the 


The Boat is turned about and sails Homewards, but 

It needed all our Cornish skill to put the boat about, 
And not a man was there on board but held his breath 
throughout ; 


But like her namesakes on the wing the Petrel wheeled and 

And quickly left behind the wreck, the breakers and the 


Before the whistling wind she ran, and leaped from wave to 

The madman still, with outstretched hands, went on of 

bells to rave. 
As on the climbing crests we rode, we glimpses got of home, 
And waiting friends along the beach beyond the belt of 


Oh ! glad were we, as nearer home and nearer still we fled, 
To see our waiting wives and babes look out from Inner 

A sailor feels a wild delight no landsman understands 
When wives and children weep for joy, and wave aloft 

their hands. 

I felt a throbbing in my heart, a fulness in my throat, 
As closely round the welcome head insped the nimble boat. 
I felt uprise within my eyes a full heart's blinding tears ! 
Perhaps the joy we felt dismissed too soon our cautious 

I do not know, I dimly saw, because my eyes were wet. 
I'm conscious that we downwards plunged, and then 

the boat upset. 
I heard the shriek of wife and child as in the whirl I sank ; 
A flash of greenish light I saw, and then awhile, a blank. 

Then — then I felt I upwards fought and to the surface came. 
For life I strove, and hope inspired each fibre of my frame ! 
I felt a lion's strength within— a lion's will impel : 
When man is fighting for his life he fights exceeding well. 


It seemed to me I ceased to think and had but will to act, 
While round the waters hissed and roared as 'neath a 

For minutes but confusion reigned — and then a voice ! — a 

hand ! — 
A blow ! — a gasp ! — a consciousness that I had reached the 


I felt I leaned on friendly arms ; I felt a wife's embrace ; 

I saw a pallid look and tears upon a childish face ; 

Then shouts — then cheers and loud " Thank God ! * before 

I senseless fell. 
In saying what remains to say I tell what others tell. 

The fishers feared misfortune might the Petrel overtake. 
Presentiment, provision for misfortune made them make — 
And hence the ready word and hand, the ready buoy and 

Which dragged us from the cauldron's depths when peril 

shattered hope. 

The madman rose beside the boat and grasped the 

larboard rail ; 
And all that man could do for him was done without avail : 
He neither seemed to see nor hear as to the wood he clung — 
The people say by unseen hand the village bell was rung. 

The billows swept both man and boat towards the open 

strand — 
That portion where the windlass lies half buried in the sand. 
The folk could only wait and watch till both were inwards 

Then follow the receding wave and bravely hold them fast. 


'Twas thus they did. A score and ten the man and Petrel 

And bore them high, with cheers that hurled defiance at 

the blast. 
Ah ! sadly is the Petrel wrecked — and sadly wrecked is he ! 
God rest the spirit of the man and give His peace to me ! 

If what the folk declare is true about the windlass there, 
The man was something more than mad, from something 

more than care. 
'Tis said that from the boat's upset, the while he died 

or drowned, 
The windlass in its sandy bed kept turning round and round. 

I cannot say that I believe in all the neighbours say, 
For fancy on a day like this can lead the best astray ; 
And folk do say that fisher-folk are much by fancy led, 
Believing that all living men are biassed by the dead. 

He indulges in a little Fisher Philosophy, 

On this I no opinion have ; but life, it seems to me, 
Is like the sailing of a ship upon a changeful sea — 
A troubled sea that's all unknown and overspread with 

Which hides the rocks and shoals, and mocks the 

navigator's gaze : 

Where tides are running east and west, and north and 

south as well, 
And where the more a man has seen the less a man can tell. 
Life's sea has got its lucky boats, and boats unlucky too. 
A lucky boat in safety sails with an unlucky crew. 


And contrary — unlucky boats may pass from hand to hand, 
Misfortune still their sails will fill and at their tillers stand. 
They may be sold, and sold again, to dodge the devil's claw; 
But what the newest owner sees is what the oldest saw. 

A man is but a boat at sea, and out of sight of shore, 
Where sun and stars are overcast and shall be evermore — 
A boat without a binnacle ; that compass never had ; 
That tries to sail a merry sea, but finds the sea is sad. 

And such a man, it seems to me, that sailor must have been. 
I 've knocked about the world a bit, but never yet have seen 
A madder man or saner man. No wonder fishers found 
The windlass of the Destiny was turning round and round. 


Part VI. 
Ube ipasstno of tbe Storm* 

** The weary sun hath made a golden set, 
And by the bright track of his fiery car, 
Gives token of a goodly day to-morrow." 

Shakespeare, Richard III. 

The Author watches the coming of Calm and 

The host and I, returning to the inn, 

Mused all the way upon the fisher's tale ; 

And when again we reached the welcome door 
To end had come the fury of the gale. 

'T was with the weather as with angry man, 
Who gentler seems than ever when is o'er 

The passion-storm that stirred his deep of soul 
And tossed the billows on his mental shore. 

The gale was spent from length and speed of race ; 

With slackened speed it breathed a panting breath, 
And like the white-haired pilgrim of the night 

Was prostrate soon beneath the calm of death. 

Forth like a shining warrior came the sun 
And whirled a circle with his golden sword ; 

He through the breach, as through an open gate, 
The lances of his glittering phalanx poured. 

Then right and left the phalanx cut its way 
And drove the cloudy masses into flight ; 


I heard the thunder of their rolling cars, 
And watched as heated axles flashed the light. 

Towards the leaden east they beat retreat, 
And in the Devon valleys poured their grief ; 

While Cornish children clapped their joyful hands 
And thanked the warrior for the glad relief. 

The sneaking fog its allies followed soon, 
And into slow detaching columns broke 

In pallid silence on the dying wind, 
Retreating slowly, like a battle's smoke. 

Like an elastic mirror rolled the sea 

And flashed meanwhile as flashes azure silk, 

Save where the breakers broke it into surf — 
A boiling cauldron of the whitest milk. 

The fishers loosed their many-tinted sails — 
The coloured pinions of their fishing craft 

That turned their heads towards the wind and sun 
And made obeisance, curtseying fore and aft. 

The victor-sun in glory trod the west, 

The centre of his lustrous spears his shield ; 

The shining portals of his place of rest 
Revealed the blood-stains of the battlefield. 

He kissed in pity the forsaken wreck — 

In transient glory clothed her shattered form, 

(As friends will place sweet flowers upon the dead), 
A compensation for the gloomy storm. 

Then dipped his shield behind the western sea, 
Where I, like awed Parsee, beheld it fall. 

The twilight angel from the throne of God 

Stretched out his hands and spread his purple pall. 


The evening star shone like a jewelled pin, 
And seemed to keep the purple pall in place, 

While vocal waves, lamenting, thundered in. 
I thought of Christ with tears upon His face. 

The Author muses and slumbers. 

I, musing, wandered to the lofty cliff 

From whence we viewed the wreck at break of day, 
To read the thesis in philosophy 

Spread on the pages of the scene and day. 

And there I made a seat upon the moss 

Like cap of velvet on an aged head, 
While thought, on rapid pinion, circled round 

The storm, the calm, the living and the dead. 

I mused as muses each, except the fool, 
Of all the millions of perplexed mankind. 

The darkness stretches ever on before, 

The brilliant light of knowledge lies behind. 

I mused of time and all its mysteries, 

Of life and death and all that they have done. 

My mind took flight and reached its starting point — 
A circling wanderer, like the midnight sun. 

The Pole-star quivered in the deep of space, 

And seemed an eye which gazed from depth profound 

With merry twinkle at the thought of man 
Who seeks to find what never can be found. 

The constellations, like a mighty wheel, 

In constant revolution turned about ; 
Their twinkling barks sail circles in a sea 

Of mysteries on mysteries throughout. 


And thus humanity — a drifting ship — 

Floats round the Pole-star of the Great Unknown ; 
And all on board muse on the rock of death, 

Where fretful life is broken into foam. 

While time permits us to remain at sea — 

While on the voyage should mortals laugh or cry ? 

! let us laugh, and let us merry live 

In light of wisdom, till the day we die. 

While thus I mused, I watched the rounded moon 
Uplaunch her silver galley on the blue : 

Like human hope she seemed, that comes to go, 
And loses life in order to renew. 

The chill had passed completely from the night, 
And warmth with sleep so softly round me crept, 

1 sank unconscious on the velvet cap 
Upon the aged head — and soundly slept. 

The Author dreams. 

You will not wonder that I dreamed a dream 
Of things which waking men can never see — 

A dream in which the objects which I saw 
In strange confusion danced a wild boree. 

A world-wide maelstrom wheeled all round about, 
Of everything beneath the circling sky — 

Of everything that is or ever was — 

Of things that lived and died — that live to die. 

The rock and I the centre were of all — 
A sort of axle of the whirling whole ; 

But turning roundabout the other way 
I seemed to climb a whirling caracole. 


Then like a flash the drowned man appeared 

As yesternight I saw him in the inn ; 
And, instantly, the rock on which I sat, 

And all the mighty maelstrom ceased to spin ! 

The strange mutation seemed a stunning blow — 
All life and thought of earth, it seemed, had fled, 

And I was with the mariner alone 

Within the sombre regions of the dead. 

He on my shoulders laid his heavy hands, 
Then fixed the glitter of his starry eye, 

And said, like one who feels his soul relieved, 
" The name upon the bell was Destiny I " 

The Host awakens him. 

Then I was roughly shaken ; and a voice 
Cried loudly in my ear, " Awake ! awake ! " 

At first it seemed a portion of my dream, 
But soon I knew it was the host who spake. 

" I thought," said he, " that I should find you here, 
And half expected you would be asleep : 

And well I came, or sleeping restlessness 
Had plunged you over to the briny deep. 

" When I observed 't was nearly middle night, 
And strange events so long had banished rest, 

It seemed to me if you were not asleep 
Some harm to you was plainly manifest." 

We paused to look a moment at the wreck, 
Ere to the inn we took the rugged way : 

The broken hull stood like a phantom rock 
That upwards rose to mark the fatal day. 


Part VII. 

" Hath this fellow no feeling of his business, that he sings at grave- 
making ? "—Shakespeare, Hamlet. 


The morning came the tempest's trail impatient to elute ; 
The merry birds assistance gave — played each his fife or flute. 
The vault celestial's glorious blue from taint of cloud was free; 
The outspread wings of brooding peace were over land and 

A balminess the darkened hours had brought from out the 

Each breaker doffed its cap of white and shut its blatant 

mouth ; 
In gilded galley sailed the sun the fair cerulean main 
With kingly state, and subject wind to act as chamberlain. 

The aged fishers told again their oft-repeated tales, 

And watched the skiffs with flashing oars that dipped to 

aid the sails. 
Both man and beast beheld, rejoiced, and sipped the cup 

of joy ; 
The sea-mew's wail its sadness lost and seemed a glad 


The terrored ships that fled the storm, as chicks the falcon 

Put out again with spreading sails and drifted lazily. 


One raised her signal-flags aloft to hail a passing mate — 
The colours seemed like laughter heard behind a church- 
yard gate. 

Alack, that ships and men alike are doomed to pass away ! 
Like spots upon the sailing sun the wreck and victim lay — 
The wreck upon the sunken reef, the corpse upon a bier 
Without a friend to say " Alas ! " or shed a sorrow's tear. 


Four aged wheels, four aged steeds, one aged brazen horn. 
The face of him who drove was like the sun at early morn ; 
And that of him who blew the brass was like the sun at eve, 
As in the coach's crowded space he tried one more to steve. 

'Twas quickly done. Then off we sped, and through the 

village passed; 
The brilliant-buttoned trumpeter blew forth his loudest blast. 
The valleys' echoes gave replies from every deep recess, 
And wayside urchins called aloud in mocking playfulness. 

The coach moved slowly up the road that overlooks the 

Behind a hedge the sexton toiled and struck the grating 

And as he toiled he gaily sang, as spinster at her wheel. 
A sexton has the time to think without the heart to feel. 

A score of hearts, a score of tongues, to every pair a mind ; 

But not a tender word heard I of sorrows left behind ! 

The crest was reached, the whip was cracked, the horses 
gaily sped — 

What cares the world for stranger-wrecks or for the stranger- 


1 ' Cease to consult ; the time for action calls : 
War, horrid war, approaches to your walls." 

Homer, The Iliad. 


On the afternoon of the 19th of July, 1588, a match at bowls was 
being played on the Hoe at Plymouth by a number of English 
mariners whose equals have never been before or since assembled, 
when the captain of a small armed vessel suddenly announced the 
approach of the Armada called "Invincible." The English fleet sailed 
that night, and fell in with the Spaniards on the following day, when 
a running battle, lasting a week, ensued. On the 27th the Armada 
found shelter in Calais Roads. On the night of the 29th the English 
drove them to sea by means of fire-ships, and the terrible struggle was 
renewed. After a brave effort the Spanish Admiral, despairing of 
success, fled northwards with a south wind, in the hope of making his 
way around the coast of Scotland and thus escaping. Of the one 
hundred and twenty-nine vessels which quitted Spain in unprecedented 
pageantry and pride, a wretched and shattered remnant of fifty-three 
returned. From this blow the power of Spain never fully recovered. 

The Captains on the Hoe. 

A GROUP of Captains played at bowls 
'^ On breezy Plymouth Hoe j 
A band were they of fearless souls, 

Whose vessels lay below 
Awaiting the " Invincible " — 

The fleet of haughty Spain — 
Prepared to fight for principle 

And not to fight in vain. 


He who was wise to disobey * 

The Queen's unwise command — 
Who stood prepared in danger's day 

To save his native land : 
And Drake, of Englishmen the first 

To sail around the world, 
Whom Spaniards in their terror cursed, 

Whose sails were rarely furled — 
Who stormy Biscay boldly sailed, 

And into Cadiz steered ; 
Where, while the Spanish sailor quailed, 

He "singed the Spanish beard." 
John Hawkins, rough and hardy 

As his native Devon's oak, 
Whose ship was never tardy 

In a storm or battle-smoke : 
Martin Frobisher, undaunted, 

Who the English colours bore 
To the misty regions haunted 

By the ice of Labrador — 
With many more of kindred fame 

Where lines of battle ran, 
Each one a fighting mariner, 

A Sea-Dog Englishman. 

With ringing laugh and sailor jest 

They whiled the summer day, 
With all the lively interest 

Of boys at school and play. 
The blood and nerves of heroes lay 

Beneath the skins of tan, 
And at the dawn of peril-day 

Uprose leviathan ! 

* toward of Effingham — commander. 


Though feeble be the writer's pen, 

The tale is one to shew 
How half the world depended on 

The men on Plymouth Hoe. 

Arrival of Fleming. 

A cry was raised, " A ship ! A ship 

Comes sailing in from sea ! " 
It quickly passed from lip to lip, 

With "Who, and what is she?" 
'T was plain to all that urgent haste 

Propelled her on her way, 
T was plain she had no time to waste 

Outside the breezy bay. 

With all her straining canvas set 

She sped towards the town : 
With decks and crew all spray be-wet 

She dropped her anchor down. 
In haste was launched her captain's boat 

And rowed towards the shore : 
Each oarsman doffed his wetted coat 

For freedom at the oar. 
With rapid dip they fled the ship, 

And sped towards the land — 
As those who in a race outstrip, 

Or flee with contraband. 
The stalwart steersman leaped the prore 

And hastened to the Hoe : 
Excited was the look he wore, 

His eyes were all aglow 
As his who to the rescue runs 

Amid a bloody strife j 


Or who pursuing vengeance shuns 

And flees to save his life. 
He hurried up the steep ascent 

Towards the peaceful scene 
Which overlooked the armament — 

The sailors' bowling green. 

His sailor cap with grace he raised 

And courtly was his bow : 
The bowlers paused and silent gazed 

Each one with knitted brow. 
" I crave your pardon, gentle sirs " — 

'T was thus the sailor spake — 
" The news I bring, the blood bestirs ! " 

"What is it?" queried Drake— 
" What is it ? " said they, drawing near, 

" And who and what are you ? " 
" I 'm Fleming, Scottish privateer, 

And have a fighting crew. 
Both they and I have never feared 

The face of mortal man, 
Although to-day in haste we steered 

And into Plymouth ran. 
My men and I, at break of day, 

The Lizard Point could see ; 
Our ship was passing Falmouth Bay 

Some twenty miles to lee. 
We saw to south and west of us 

What caused us much surprise, 
A fleet so great, 't was fabulous ! 

We scarce believed our eyes ! 
The morning mists in part concealed 

The host, though wondrous near — 



A clearer morn the fate had sealed 

Of my light privateer. 
Not altogether unobserved 

Did we to Plymouth haste — 
One lofty galleon t'wards us swerved, 

And for a time she chased. 
My gentle sirs, dismiss your doubts ! 

That mighty morning host 
With arrogance your courage flouts 

Along the Cornish coast. 
The King of Spain's Armada knocks 

This day at England's door ! 
Yield once to him the thing he mocks, 

You yield it evermore ! " 

The captains and onlookers gave 

A loud and lusty cheer ; 
They drew each man his shining glave : 

So did the privateer. 
Oh ! brightly in the sun they flashed, 

Those blades of proven steel, 
And like to silver bells they clashed 

A soft but martial peal. 
In dauntless hands they upwards shot 

In solemn vow to God — 
(Tread lightly that historic spot 

And deem it holy sod) — 
A vow to die, if die they must, 

On points of Spanish steel 
Ere they would yield to Spanish lust, 

Or to the Spaniard kneel. 
The blades in sheathing rang again 

In witness to the word 


Which echoed in each citizen 
And God Almighty heard. 

The gallant Howard grasped the hand 

Of him who brought the news, 
And said, " A boon of me demand, 

And I shall not refuse." 
" I beg that I may with you sail 

And, when we meet the foe, 
Of what the tyrants give avail — 

A chance to strike a blow 
At him who strikes at liberty, 

To whom appeal is vain, 
The pontiffs royal devotee— 

The King of mighty Spain. 
The perils which your England smite, 

Smite at my Scotland too ! 
So Fleming with delight will fight 

And so will all his crew. 
We shall not fight as Englishmen, 

But we will fight as well ; 
I doubt not all who hear me ken — 

Now let me say 'Farewell.'" 
With ease he raised his cap again, 

And bowed with manly grace : 
His errand done, content and fain 

Were stamped upon his face. 
" Farewell ! " again said he : and they 

Cried, " Speed the Scottish keel, 
When 'mid the thunders of the fray 

To God we make appeal ! " 

Now round about their admiral 
Did all the captains flock : 


They stood like ships collateral 

Awaiting battle-shock. 
Nor Greece, nor Rome of old could boast 

Of sons more free from fear ; 
Though matchless was the Spanish host 

So quickly drawing near. 
In silence and in calmness all 

Awaited Howard's word 
The lion's claws to disenthrall, 

With spirits deeply stirred. 

Then Howard, with uncovered head 

And face both grave and stern. 
Addressed the group ; and this he said — 

" To God we trust and turn." 
They murmured in reply, " Amen." 

Again was silence kept — 
The lions crouched within the men 

And for a moment slept. 
" Against us sails the flower of Spain, 

The boldest of her sons ; 
We '11 tell them they have come in vain, 

From mouths of shotted guns ! 
Ere Philip lands a single man 

In this our native land, 
Down sinks each floating barbican 

And every sailor hand ! 
We fight not only for our home 

With those upon the sea, 
But, Parma's prince — the sword of Rome — 

For God and liberty ! 
And, gentlemen, no time have we 

To waste this weighty day : 


We make the peril out at sea 

The greater by delay." 
" I crave your pardon, Admiral," 

The daring Drake replied — 
" I 'm anxious for the carnival 

As if it were my bride. 
More ready than the foe to come 

Are we, I trow, to go, 
Though very happy here at home 

On sunny Plymouth Hoe. 
In all his pride the Spaniard comes, 

And England lists the call : 
We '11 prove his boasts but sounding drums — 

Pride goes before a fall. 
The Scotchman's word might well distress 

With haste some craven souls : 
A half-an-hour, more or less, 

Suffices for the bowls. 
Before we tarnish Spanish fame 

And Philip's raree-show, 
Pray give us time to end the game — 

Then, bid us weigh and go ! " 
On Howard's face a moment played 

A mingled frown and smile, 
As if 't were nature to upbraid, 

But wisdom to beguile. 
" Aye, let the game completed be ! " 

The sport was re-begun 
With laughter, jest, and repartee ; 

And Drake it was who won. 
The skill the bowling green displayed, 

Ere fell the morrow's dew, 
With iron balls was made to fade 

Upon the rolling blue. 


The Sailing of the Sea Dogs. 

As speeds the lover to the maid — 

The billows shoreward s run — 
The waters leap the loud cascade 

When autumn's rain 's begun — 
So sped the players down the hill, 

So sped they to the beach ; 
Of hero joy they felt the thrill, 

It clarioned in their speech. 
No thought of danger cast a shade 

Upon the face of one — 
No braver wielded Sparta's blade 

Or wore her morion. 
With wildfire speed the news had spread, 

And stirred was Plymouth town ; 
Determination could be read 

In flashing eye and frown 
Of sailor and of fisherman, 

The wielder of the spade, 
The toiling pale-faced journeyman, 

The matron and the maid. 
Excitement like a tempest stirred 

The souls of young and old, 
No single craven word was heard, 

On, on the tempest rolled ! 
As when a hoarse south-wester sweeps 

The wave on Devon's shore, 
And high the rolling billow leaps 

With loud exultant roar, 
The wild " Hurrahs " of surging crowd 

Swept through each lane and street 


And found an echo long and loud 

On board the anchored fleet, 
And wilder grew as boats sped out 

By silent sailors plied, 
Transported by the torrent-shout 

Of wild exultant pride. 
If Spain and Philip had but heard, 

If they had heard and seen, 
Old Plymouth would their fears have stirred 

In that historic scene. 
With muttered thunder in the throat 

And lightning in the eye, 
Prophetic of the storm that smote 

And bade the Spaniard die. 

With gay click-click each windlass drags 

Its weighty anchor free ; 
The ships display their battle flags 

And point their prows to sea. 
Hoarse words of stern command are heard, 

And act to act they link j 
The weathered willing sails ungird, 

The metal cables clink, 
The seamen haste them fore and aft, 

From port to starboard run : 
Soon from the sides of every craft 

Looks forth the savage gun, 
Within whose throat in silence lies 

The thunder-voiced decree — 
" The flag that flaunts the English skies 

Shall sink in English sea ! " 
" Hurrah ! Hurrah ! " the landsmen cheer, 

" God speed the heroes' keels ! 


Hurrah for Drake and Frobisher, 
And Howard's battle-peals ! " 

The wind blows freshly from the sea 

On which the Spaniards ride, 
So outwards warped the ships must be 

Against the flowing tide ; 
And warped they are with more than will — 

And now, the passage passed, 
The gusts the spreading canvas fill 

And pipe about the mast. 
On, on they speed ! and Plymouth's shore 

Fades slowly out of sight j 
The daylight bids, to bid no more, 

The pride of Spain " Good night." 

The Signal-fires are lit. 

As forth from Ida's mount the fires 

To Argos leaped in joy, 
To tell to waiting Grecian sires 

The fall of haughty Troy, 
So leap the flames from crest to crest 

Across the English shires— 
They leap to north and east and west. 

(Of Spanish pride the pyres !) 
On Kentish hills the waiting piles 

Receive the kindling brand, 
And pass it on four hundred miles 

To far Northumberland. 
Each town and hamlet ring their bells, 

And hear the rolling drums ; 
The blazen blaring trumpet tells 

The great Armada comes. 


By bell and drum and trumpet stirred 

Men speed them to and fro ; 
On every hand the cry is heard — 

" To arms ! To arms ! The foe ! " 
O'er hill and dale the horsemen speed, 

O'er fence and field they spur ; 
The shepherd stops his piping reed 

And feels his pulses stir. 
As sweeps the wind across the fields 

Of waving, yellow corn, 
And every ear an answer yields 

Of glad submission born, 
So sweeps the news o'er England's face, 

And each man answers " Aye ! " 
And hastes to his appointed place 

On England's peril-day. 
The people and the monarch call ; 

The nation hastes to arm ; 
For ever may it thus befall 

When freedom feels alarm ! 

The Armada is sighted. 

The twentieth day of bright July 

Shines on the Channel's breast ; 
The ships to windward slowly ply 

In battle-order dressed. 
Some fragile Cornish fishing boats 

Make haste with oar and sail ; 
The men have left their nets and floats 

To tell the stirring tale 
Of wondrous ships which they have seen 

In wondrous numbers spread : 
And all the facts the fleet can glean 

Are told in tones of dread. 


To northwards lies the Cornish coast 

And all its cherished scenes ; 
To southwards lies the Spanish host, 

Which yet the distance screens : 
But thin and thinner grows the veil, 

As warmer grows the day — 
By shouts, 't is rent ! "A sail ! a sail ! " 

With mingling, " Where away ? " 
On comes a lofty galleon's form, 

A hundred in her wake, 
With thirty thousand men who scorn 

The countrymen of Drake. 
In scores they burst upon the view 

Before the swelling gales ; 
The confidence of every crew 

Seems swelling in the sails. 
Right gaily stream the pennons gay 

On all the lofty masts \ 
Right bravely do the trumpets bray 

Their thrilling battle-blasts. 

As eagerly as eagles fall 

To seize the fallen prey, 
The Spaniards hear the trumpet-call 

Which stirs their hearts to-day. 
They throng like bees within a hive — 

Loud swells the martial hum — 
The gaping ports are all alive. 

Hark, hark ! the rattling drum. 
The arming men prepare to strike 

And fast to stations run — 
They clash the flashing boarding-pike 

And load the pond'rous gun. 


Sidonia wears a golden cross 

By holy Sixtus blessed, 
And this dismisses thoughts of loss 

And gives his spirit rest. 
In faith are orders put in force 

By his confiding host — 
They keep upon their eastward course 

Towards the Calais coast, 
Where, waiting, lies the shallow fleet 

Which Parma has arrayed. 
(Sidonia and that fleet shall meet 

When both shall be dismayed !) 
The Englishmen he vainly hopes 

Will terror-stricken flee 
On seeing what with England copes 

Upon an English sea ; 
But of such stuff are cowards made, 

And 't will be ever so — 
'T was dauntlessness the men displayed 

Who bowled on Plymouth Hoe ! 

Now full in view the crescent heaves 

For half a score of miles, 
With banners like the maple leaves 

When brightest autumn smiles ! 
In tenderness the sunlight fawns 

As on the galleons flow, 
And like a flock of graceful swans 

The galliasses row. 
The English ships with sails aback 

In silence slowly sway : 
The Spanish stir not sheet or tack, 

But keep their ordered way. 


Borne on the south-west breeze's breast 

They slowly travel past ; 
In might and beauty each is dressed — 

A floating polyspast. 
Four score have passed — still, still they come ! 

And each her standard flies ; 
From every port looks out a gun 

And dark malicious eyes. 
Oh ! never since the world was made, 

And since the sea has been, 
Have billows borne so grand parade — 

Such stately vessels seen. 

As each draws near the English ships 

The Spanish fury grows, 
And curses rain from bearded lips 

Upon the Saxon foes — 
" Down, down with Queen Elizabeth ! 

Down, down ! " they cry again, 
14 To Englishmen and England death ; 

But glory be to Spain ! " 

The First English Attack. 

Now flame the eyes of Effingham — 

Now Frobisher and Drake 
And every Sea-Dog Englishman 

A course for battle take. 
By ready hands the yards are braced 

To catch the swelling breeze — 
With speed are lines of eddies traced 

Across the Channel seas. 
The last of all the galleys passed, 

The gunners light the brand, 


And while the standards run amast 

They silent wait command. 
As eagles from a giddy steep 

Swoop on a righting prey, 
The Englishmen to windward sweep 

To enter on the fray. 
Not always to the swift the race, 

The combat to the strong — 
When patriots the tyrant face 

They battle well and long ! 

The sun has rarely looked upon 

Such fateful day as this ! 
'T is freedom's second Marathon, 

And England's Salamis ! 

The Saxon like a lion runs, 

And Fleming's privateer — 
Hark ! hark the roar of Saxon guns, 

And hark the Saxon cheer ! 
A thousand cannons belch reply 

From walls of Spanish oak, 
And fiercely rings the battle-cry 

Of Spain amid the smoke. 
The whizz and whistling of the shots 

Make concert with the breeze 
And stir the hearts of patriots 

As tempests stir the seas. 

Oh ! woe to thee, Sidonia, 

Thou shalt the battle lose ! 
Woe ! woe to many a Spanish ship 

In what she has to choose — 


To sink and die, or strike her flag 

Of yellow striped with red — 
An emblem fit of stolen gold 

And blood of murdered dead. 

Flash ! flash ! in quick succession boom 

Reports which shake the keels, 
And where the loftiest galleons loom 

They roar like thunder-peals. 
Thick roll the pallid battle-clouds 

As white as driven snow, 
They hide the masts and sails and shrouds 

Of struggling friend and foe. 
" Hurrah ! hurrah !" What means this burst 

Of Anglo-Saxon glee ? 
The Hope of Spain is shattered first 

And sinks beneath the sea ! 
From off a second flutters fast 

The tyrant flag in fear — 
She strikes before the iron blast 

Of Fleming's privateer. 
A half-a-score of shattered ships 

Dismasted, drift behind ; 
Their friends have terror on their lips — 

And refuge in the wind. 

As 't were the roar of some cascade 

The conflict's thunders swell — 
The victors' cries, and cries for aid 

Are weird as nether-hell ! 
The strife flows on its gory way 

Beyond the coursing sun 
Till stars pour down the silver ray 

Upon the heated gun 


And galliass's broken oar 

And galleon's shattered side, 
On many which shall nevermore 

In peaceful haven ride. 

The rising morning's vapour's cloak 

In part the sun — it glows 
And quivers through the mist and smoke 

On fighting friends and foes. 
The sons of proud Hispania 

No longer speak with scorn — 
The fingers of Britannia 

Their robe of pride have torn ! 

Each weary day and weary night 

Throughout a weary week 
The Spaniards well sustain the fight 

And friendly Calais seek ; 
But where full confidence has been 

Are bloody stains and wrecks, 
And fearful is the carnage seen 

Upon the crowded decks. 
Oh ! ghastly lie 'mid smoke and gloom 

The men whose work is done, 
Beneath the shattered gaff and boom 

And silent fallen gun. 
Low lie the broken shroud and mast, 

The torn and shattered sail, 
As if the ships had borne the blast 

Of some destructive gale. 
The gunners weary are, and grimed, 

With wild dishevelled hair, 
Still every standing cannon 's primed : 

They fight with fierce despair — 


They fight with sorrow at their hearts 

And tears within their eyes 
As more and more the strength departs 

On which their hope relies. 
By thousands can be counted those 

Who ne'er shall strike again ! 
About the decks in torrents flows 

The proudest blood of Spain. 

As pale as snow Sidonia is, 

And humbled is his pride. 
What says Juan de Martinez 

Who 's standing at his side ? 
" Forth to the wind our hopes must go. 

(Oh, Spain, the bitter cost !) 
If from the east the winds do blow, 

Sidonia, we are lost ! " 

Proud Don Juan de Valdez, 

The English press so sore, 
His gallant ship dismantled is 

And driven to the shore. 
Swift as the light felucca 

Algerian sailors steer, 
Throughout the proud Armada 

She scarcely had a peer. 

The tidings of the struggle run 

Along the English coast, 
And shoresmen hear the boom of gun 

From galleons hithermost. 
When in the parched and sandy waste 

A camel falls to die, 
From every point the vultures haste 

And to the carcass fly : 


So forth from every English creek 

The armed fishers pour ; 
And those who, harassed, shelter seek, 

They harass more and more. 
From Dartmouth and from Teignmouth, 

From Weymouth and from Poole, 
With mariners of Lynmouth — 

Of the Bristol Channel school \ 
From Portsmouth and Southampton, 

From Ventnor and from Ryde 
Come ships and men that hasten on 

To taste of battle-tide. 

Now Walter Raleigh's sails expand 

Towards the Calais shore : 
And Oxford comes, and Cumberland, 

With heroes many more. 
With ringing shouts the battling fleet 

Hails each approaching friend, 
While they the lusty greeting greet 

And back its spirit send. 

The Spaniards reach Calais. 

With thankful hearts the Calais Roads 

The stricken Spaniards view : 
Wild terror to the shelter goads — 

They haste the passage through. 
Though ships are sadly rent and torn, 

Though sails are shattered sore, 
Though confidence is overborne, 

The struggle is not o'er. 


The Spaniards greet their Spanish friends 

And Spanish banners hail. 
Now confidence again uptends— 

It sweeps them like a gale ! 
They hail the fleet of Parma 

That waits to bear his host 
Which, favoured by Bellona, 

Shall dash upon the coast 
Where sits the " cursed woman " * 

Who, from dominion hurled, 
Shall " find her place with Satan, 

And leave to God the world." 

Sidonia's knitted brows unbend, 

He now no longer sighs ; 
The terrors of the Channel end 

And hope enlights his eyes. 
Ambition's visions all return 

And on his spirit sit ; 
His cheeks with anger flush and burn 

By vengeance-fever lit. 
He dreams of cries for pity, 

Of English widows' tears, 
The blazing blood-stained city, 

And trembling orphans' tears, 
Of bitter cries for water 

A dying thirst to slake 
Amid the battle's slaughter 

Or at the flaming stake. 
" Once in an English haven 

With Parma's zealous host, 
The Plymouth curs shall craven 

And fret along the coast. 

* Queen Elizabeth. 


Forth from my crowded galleys 

Shall stream his flashing spears, 
And England's hills and valleys 

Shall flow with blood and tears ! 
When in the streets of London 

The Spanish drums shall roll, 
Then, England, hope abandon, 

And think about your soul ! " 
While thus he dreams he mutters, 

He paces to and fro, 
And bitter curses utters — 

Deep curses on the foe ! 

The day of rest from combat — 

Sweet day of growing hope, 
That with the great concordat 

In vain would Saxons cope — 
'T is past ! — and now outglimmer 

The bright nocturnal gems ; 
The harbour waters shimmer 

About the Spanish stems. 
As gently sweep the breezes, 

As softly breathes the night, 
A welcome slumber seizes 

On every weary wight. 
Mellifluently and slowly 

The lapping wavelets beat 
And soothe the high and lowly 

On board the anchored fleet. 
Peace seems to be embracing 

This wondrous Calais scene, 
Save where the guards are pacing — 

Or wounded lie, I ween. 


How stately look the gallant ships 

As they at anchor ride, 
The watch-lights' beaming gaily dips 

And dances in the tide ! 
The guns from every loophole, 

From every oaken keep, 
From every yawning port-hole 

Like pointing ringers peep. 
Where lofty prows defiance show 

And in the darkness loom, 
The anchor-lights like planets glow 

On every proud jibboom, 
While forest-like the lofty spars 

Uplift their heads and arms 
As if they prayed the silent stars 

To save them from alarms. 
Beside each frowning galleon-ship 

A speedy galliass lies, 
And sentries guard with eye and lip 

The fleet against surprise. 

Sidonia's cabin windows 

Are brilliantly alight — 
The colours stream like rainbows 

Far out into the night 
From off the walls' enamel 

(Where not a tint is cold), 
From polished oaken panel 

And flashing cloth of gold. 
A costly ar* shuts out the shade 

And leaves the whole aglow : 
A contrast show the ebon slaves 

Attending to and fro. 


The varied light emblazons 

The flashing weapons' sheen, 
And splendour-dressed companions 

Complete the brilliant scene. 
Bejewelled and begoldened 

(As are the cups they quaff), 
By plenteous wine emboldened, 

They loudly jest and laugh. 

Let Calais waters rest afford ! 

Let ruby wine o'erflow ! 
The dead, forgot, lie overboard, 

The wounded lie below. 

They toast — and each receives a cheer ; 

The wine cup suckles pride. 
The Channel's swelling flood of fear 

Is now a fallen tide. 
They toast the Pontiff, toast the King, 

They toast the Spanish belle, 
They, mocking, toast Elizabeth — 

Consigning her to hell. 

Now has the wassail spirit climbed 

The turrets of the brain : 
Within the chambers of the mind 

It leads its silly train ; 
It sets the turrets all ablaze, 

Unstable makes the walls, 
Till some can scarce their goblets raise 

Above their swaying spalls. 

Oft brimmed Sidonia's flashing cup — 

He fills it once again 
And bids his dons " Fill up ! fill up ! ! 

I toast the sons of Spain 


Who march in Parma's gallant ranks 

And man our glorious fleet ! " 
Shouts ringing with accoutre-clanks 

The vain announcement greet. 
" They '11 reap the wheat of English might 

Till England's heart is sore, 
And thresh the grain of English right 

On England's threshing floor ! 
This ship the wanton queen shall bear 

Across the Biscay wave, 
And in Madrid she '11 trembling hear 

The greeting of a slave ! 
Before King Philip's majesty 

Her stubborn knee shall bend, 
That his most sacred clemency 

May to her sins extend : 
And may the royal ear be dead 

To her who mercy claims ; 
And may I pile the faggot-bed 

To give her to the flames ! " 
As if they wondrous wit acclaimed 

They loudly laugh " Ha-ha ! " 
Wine leaves the babbling tongue unreined 

To ride anathema. 

Sidonia calls aloud to fetch 

The ship's musicians in, 
And threats attendants' necks to stretch 

As fiddlers stretch the string. 
(Soon dies the slave who lingers.) 

They quickly summoned are, 
And skilled Castilian fingers 

Thrum-thrum the light guitar. 


The English Fire-ships. 

A stealthy course the darkness through 

Some lightless vessels take, 
And silent are. Each silent crew 

Towards the Spaniards make, 
As creeps the subtle tiger 

Amid the jungle's grass. 
As deadly as the viper 

Their forms of evil pass ! 
Unconscious of the dangers are 

The men who sentry keep : 
Alert the Sea-Dog rangers are 

And waiting on the deep. 

What glow is this uprearing 

So near the Spanish lines ? 
What lights are these appearing 

Like glowing almandines ? 
They lie directly windward 

Along the rippling main. 
Is it the anchored vanguard 

To which they appertain ? 
Red, red o'erhead the heaven flecks, 

Red glows the wave below, 
And plainly seen on kindling decks 

Men hasten to and fro. 
The blazing ships draw nearer — 

Come swiftly on the wind ; 
And now the truth is clearer — 

Appals the Spanish mind ! 


A lightning flash of terror 

Bursts through the flame and smoke ! 
The Spaniards see with horror 

The Sea-Dogs' master-stroke. 
Now spreads around the gleaming of 

The flames that fast aspire. 
And fearful is the meaning of 

The Spanish cry of " Fire ! * 

A thousand Spanish watchmen 

Are shouting in the glow, 
And lips with horror ashen 

The brazen trumpets blow. 
As when the fierce tornado 

Sweeps o'er a Western plain, 
The Spaniards and bravado 

Confusion smites again. 
Shriek, terror-stricken keepers ! 

Ye blood-stained myrmidons ! 
Awake, awake the sleepers ! 

Rouse up the dosing dons ! 
Abaddon comes to pay you 

In coin you understand ! 
Sidonia's words betray you — 

Ha ! ha ! the flaming brand ! 

The vast Armada listens 

To frantic English cheers ; 
Now English sabres glisten, 

And so do Spanish tears. 
Swift row the Sea-Dogs' barges ; 

Fast drift the hulks of flame ; 
The peril but enlarges 

Which threats to ruin Spain. 


Crack ! crack ! the shots are raining, 

And countless cannon roar ; 
The English tars are straining 

The pliant ashen oar. 
Now distance and the darkness 

Their forms in safety fold : 
(Oft of their pluck and starkness 

The story shall be told.) 
Dun rolls the smoke and dunner, 

Loud roar the yellow flames ; 
In vain the Spanish gunner 

The shotted cannon aims. 
The dumb and fiery masses 

Possess no soul to quail, 
Tide-borne along the passes, 

No need have they of sail. 
Their helmsman is the flowing 

Of the silent Channel tide — 
As deadly as unknowing 

They near and nearer glide. 
The hero and the coward 

Recoiling from the heat 
Are loudly cursing Howard 

And his terror-dealing fleet. 

Now smokes a lofty galleon 

Which windward anchored swings ; 
The crackling tongues now bourgeon — 

Destruction to her clings ! 
Her hempen shrouds are flaming tar, 

Her sails are sheets of flame ! 
Now topples — falls ! the blackened spar 

Without the cannon's aim. 


The galliass now kindles fast 

That lies beneath her lee : 
Entangled 'neath the fallen mast, 

Her seamen strive to free. 
From off the doomed galleon pours 

A struggling human mass 
And bears confusion to the rowers 

On board the galliass. 
Ten thousand human voices 

Swell like an ocean flood 
Which on its way rejoices 

And hurls the flying scud, 
That hisses like the burning 

Which brightens more and more, 
And quickens the discerning 

Of the thousands who complore. 
Wilder grows confusion all 

Along the Spanish lines : 
The fire-ships' intrusion all 

Their concert undermines, 
Except the concert of the thought 

That safety lies in flight. 
Right speedily is safety sought ! 

But flight is oversight. 

" Sidonia, you had better face 

The terrors you would flee 
Than find yourself in evil case 

Upon the open sea " : 
Thus speaks Juan de Martinez. 

Sidonia hearkens, pale ; 
But ev'ry anchor windlassed is 

And loosened every sail. 


The Flight of the Spanish Fleet. 

Since Xerxes' fleet in days of eld 

Took flight from Salamis, 
This struggling world has not beheld 

A sight to equal this. 
As then, 't is Liberty assails 

A force unknown before ; 
As then, Oppression spreads her sails 

And bends the fleeing oar. 

Out hastes the great Armada o'er 

The darkened open sea. 
May God forbid that evermore 

Shall be such misery ! 
With order gone and courage lost 

'T will prove an easy prey 
For that exultant Sea-Dog host 

When breaks the dawn of day. 
Oh, how the oars and sails must jar 

On thoughts of yesternight ! 
The hopes of Parma shattered are 

By proud Sidonia's flight. 
Ne'er from the crowded galleys 

Shall stream his flashing spears 
To stain the hills and valleys 

With English blood and tears ; 
Ne'er in a London thoroughfare 

The Spanish drums shall roll, 
Nor chain and stake 'mid smoke and flare 

Please blood-stained Parma's soul ! 


The ships of fire flame behind 

Along the Calais shore : 
Sidonia joys to feel the wind — 

They trouble him no more. 
His courage rises with the breeze, 

And hope upbrightens fast — 
('Tis often thus when manhood sees 

The fatal die is cast) — 
And he resolves, if breaking day 

Reveal the English fleet, 
That long and fierce shall be the fray 

When they in battle meet. 
A thousand hopes and wishes sweep 

Through his excited brain : 
Meanwhile the Sea-Dogs plough the deep 

And on the Spaniards gain. 

The Second English Attack. 

Dawn breaks — south-eastwards lies the line 

Of Gravelines' sandy shore, 
And eastwards grows a light carmine 

Which broadens more and more. 
Retreating mists and shades of night 

The Straits of Dover flee j 
And now Sidonia sees a sight 

He does not wish to see — 
Exulting comes the English fleet 

And swiftly makes its way. 
With lusty cheers the Sea-Dogs greet 

Sidonia's brave array, 


They now their battle-order take, 

And skill is well displayed : 
'T is felt dominion lies at stake 

And Spanish gasconade. 
The tiger of the pride of Spain 

Now feels himself at bay — 
Displays his teeth and claws amain 

And scents a bloody day ! 
Again outsounds the trumpet-call 

And roll of rattling drum. 
Again the decks are all alive 

And loudly swells the hum 
As arming men prepare to strike 

And fast to stations run 
They clash the flashing boarding pike 

And load the deadly gun. 
Oh, splendid is the morning scene 

With morning light aglow ! 
The water narrows fast between 

Sidonia and the foe. 

Now bursts the storm ! Oh, God ! for this 

Were men and waters made ? 
Alas ! through blood man plods to bliss 

And slays fanfaronade. 
Fierce breaks the roar of English guns, 

And those of Spain reply ; 
Along the lines the battle runs, 

And death and anguish hie 
Where beats the battle's awful hail, 

Where rends the solid oak, 
Where falls the battle's bloody flail 

With desolating stroke. 


Six weary hours the fight goes on — 

Stern manhood's stern assay ! 
Shall time reveal your paragon, 

Oh, epoch-making day ? 
The Spanish tiger fiercely fights, 

He merits no disdain ; 
But hope his eye no longer lights 

Of victory for Spain — 
For Spanish decks all ghastly are 

With men whose race is run, 
Who lie beside the shattered spar 

Unconscious of the sun. 
Again with broken shroud and mast, 

With torn and shattered sail, 
The galleons look as if the blast 

Of some destructive gale 
Had torn their canvas into shreds 

And laid their glory low, 
Or Jove had with the bolts he sheds 

Well proved himself their foe. 
Now helpless many a gallant ship 

Drifts t'wards the Holland sands, 
Courageous men with quiv'ring lip 

Can only fold their hands 
As nearer to the foaming shore 

They draw — and nearer still. 
God pity them ! their hearts are sore 

And vain their seaman-skill. 
Now galleon after galleon grates 

Upon the treach'rous sands 
Where many of their galliass mates 

Defy the rower's hands, 


And like to crippled creatures lie, 

The prey of wind and sea — 
There ships and crews are doomed to die 

By battle's stern decree ! 
More confident the English grow, 

More lustily they cheer : 
They see the failing of the foe — 

His proofs of growing fear. 

The fortunes of the day are now 

Beyond the shade of doubt. 
" Destruction !" do the English vow 

With vengeance-prompted shout. 
As wolves pursuing stumbling steeds 

The Sea-Dogs hunt the prey : 
As more and more the Spaniard bleeds 

The more they long to slay. 
Strike, strike your flag, Sidonia, 

And lessen death and pain ! 
" Strike ! " " Fight ! » are but synonyma 

For misery to Spain. 

The Spanish Council of War. 

Sidonia now a council calls 

Where wildly beats a tide — 
The billow of discretion falls 

On rocks of Spanish pride 
'Mid mingling sounds of hell and man, 

The piping of the breeze, 
The groaning of the dying and 

The moaning of the seas. 


To leeward lies no friendly port ; 

To windward sail the foe — 
The seamen's courage lies amort 

Beneath unmeasured woe ! 
The wind forbids them to return 

Along the way they came : 
Their hearts like those of gamblers burn 

When hopeless is the game. 
Though each a proven veteran 

Of former fighting fleets, 
Most grave the looks of ev'ry man 

Who in the council meets. 
Like weights upon their spirits press 

Their fear and murdered hope ; 
For fortune's gift is merciless — 

A rayless periscope. 
They 'd give the world to feel again 

The roll of Biscay's wave ; 
But they must sail a sea of pain 

And face a yawning grave ! 
When courage has no suretyship 

To light the clouded day, 
Few words become its trembling lip, 

For peril hates delay. 
No time have they for wasting breath ; 

Fate thunders at the door — 
" Surrender, or prepare for death ! 

This — this, and nothing more ! " 
Juan de Martinez looks sad, 

And haggard is his face 
As one whom trouble doth be-mad 

And hopelessness outpace. 


'T is felt he best can be their guide 

Who knows of danger most. 
Oh, hardly bends the head of pride 

When fate forbids to boast ! 
Sidonia lists in silence, and 

In silence list they all, 
As north he points a bloody hand 

Their minds to disenthrall, 
And speaks with mournful vehemence 

Which mingles with despair 
And plainly feels the consequence 

Which trembles in the air — 
" Let death o'ertake the hands which haul 

Another standard down ! 
We must obey our honour's call 

Though gone is our renown ! 
The end for which we sailed from Spain 

Is now beyond our reach ; 
Ten thousand of our best are slain ! 

So let me you beseech 
To northwards steer, as bids the wind, 

And battle as we go ; 
Delay will leave but more behind 

And gratify the foe ! 
'T is best, though bitter is the cost — 

So let the canvas fill ! 
Count Parma all his faith has lost 

In our Armada's skill. 
The hostile fleet increases sail 

And, doubtless, hourly grows. 
There 's mercy in an Orkney gale 

But not in Saxon foes !" 


The Spaniards steer Northwards. 

See ! — see ! the vast flotilla's course 

To northward slowly bends ! 
A south-west wind is piping hoarse 

And grandeur to it lends. 
How proudly swell the stretching sails 

Above each rolling side, 
As north the line of battle trails 

Across the heaving tide 
And sunlight floods the whole with gold, 

As though no passion-flood 
Had ever o'er its beauty rolled 

And made it stream in blood. 
Like vast and frightened swans that haste 

Across a mammoth lake, 
They speed along the wat'ry waste, 

And wounded friends forsake. 
Heartrending are the cries of grief, 

The useless wild appeals 
Sent forth to their departing chief 

From off the stranded keels 
Which helpless lie, a hapless score 

Along a hated strand — 
They loom like rocks on Holland's shore 

Amid the surf and sand. 

On ! on ! Oh fleeing residue ! 

On ! on ; with terror's speed ! 
For hungry English hawks pursue 

And burn with vengeance-greed ! 
Vain, vain is Spanish seaman-skill 

And vain is Spanish pluck : 


Disaster dire pursues them still, 

And gone is Spanish luck. 
The devil seems to lurk within 

Each barking English gun, 
And be the hellish origin 

Of all the mischief done. 
With reeking decks, with shattered sides, 

With shot be-riddled sails, 
God help you on the northern tides 

Amid the northern gales ! 

Slow sinks as in a sea of blood 

The golden summer sun ; 
The coasts of England fringe the flood — 

An English day is done : 
And English coasts and English day 

Nerve well the English arm, 
While Spaniards sicken of the fray 

And lack a counter-charm. 
To seas unknown they dread to go, 

And fears their souls enwrap — 
Dark fears which bear a ratio 

To fanciful mishap. 
The night but to their dreading adds — 

The very stars are weird ! 
And breaking dawn but superadds 

More terrors to be feared. 
So, day by day, with failing hand 

The shrinking sons of Spain 
Drift farther from their native land — 

Which few shall see again ! 


The English abandon the Pursuit. 

Thus England's danger fades away — 

The thunder-clouds disperse — 
Thus breaks the dawn of Freedom's day 

Across the universe. 
The flying ships are powerless 

To threat an English right : 
Farewell to Spanish haughtiness ! 

Farewell to Philip's might ! 
Along the rugged Scottish shore 

The trembling Spaniards flee, 
And all the Church's saints implore 

To give the kind decree 
That they the coast of Spain may hail, 

And see her sunny seas — 
May breathe again the scented gale 

From off the orange trees 
And be once more where friends had clung, 

Once more those friends to greet — 
And hear once more the Spanish tongue, 

And tread a Spanish street ! 

Oh, stormy Orkney Islands, 

And wind-swept Hebrides ! 
Oh, Irish north-coast highlands, 

And danger-burdened seas ! 
What fearful sights shall ye behold, 

What wrecks of men and ships, 
What stirring tales of blood and gold 

Shall move your fishers' lips 
When 'mid the mist and tempest, 

The quicksand, rock, and sea, 
Shall other dangers manifest, 

And other contests be. 


Now Howard signals to his fleet 

To cease the bloody chase : 
In prompt response each helm and sheet 

Change both the course and pace. 
The ships wheel round and homewards sail — 

How merrily they steer ! — 
The foe is yielded to the gale 

With welkin-rending cheer. 

How England received the News, 

Now o'er the face of Albion 

There rolls a joyous wave ; 
The past has seen no paragon 

Of tribute to the brave. 
Up silver Thames it swiftly sweeps 

As inward sail the fleet ; 
On, Londonwards, its course it keeps 

To thrill each thronging street — 
It flutters forth from pennoned mast, 

It shouts from deck and shore, 
More loudly swells, and breaks at last 

In one exultant roar 
Of peals of bells, and trumpets' blasts, 

And shouts of London throng. 
Beyond the light of day it lasts, 

And swiftly rolls along 
From town to town, from man to man, 

Across the waiting shires : 
Still, ebbing not where it began, 

But breaking forth in fires 
Which, crackling, burn on ev'ry crest 

And ruddy stain the skies, 
And blaze in streets deprived of rest 

By heartfelt joyous cries. 


Now wildly well the pealing bells 

From old St. Paul's ring out. 
Like booming waves the cheering swells, 

And mingles with the shout 
Which drowns the tramp and martial stir 

And roll of rattling drums — 
"The Queen ! the Queen ! — God bless her ! 

The Queen ! — she comes ! she comes ! " 
Oh, ne'er before those ancient streets 

Were by such pageant trod ! 
Elizabeth her people greets, 

And goes to thank her God. 

Thus England in her agony 

Gave Liberty its birth, 
And set a glorious galaxy 

To light the darkened earth. 
The glory of the victory 

Shall more and more increase, 
Till men shall fold their battle-flags 

In industry and peace. 



Some thousands of French fishermen leave France every spring for 
Newfoundland, to engage in the fisheries, an industry aptly termed the 
nursery of the French navy. They return in the autumn. Dieppe 
was formerly an important starting-point for these Terreneuviens, and 
from its haven sailed Delarue in the Marguerite. 


The Sailing and the Wreck. 

'"PHE bells of old Saint Jacques were ringing, 
In the old grey tower swinging — 
Solemn was the tenor's boom : 
And the music winged its flight 
O'er the Channel wave-bedight, 
Through the bosom of the night, 
Up the ladder of the light 
Streaming down on town and tower 
With the weird poetic power 

Dwelling in the rounded moon. 

While the bells were swinging — ringing — 
Fishermen in concert singing, 

Windlassed in a cable's length. 

They were men of Northern France — 

Men whose fathers bore the lance — 

Showed a manly arrogance, 

Fought for — won — a resiance ; 
Heard the battle-cry of Harold, 
Followed Taillefer as he carolled — 

Norman William's hope and strength. 


The anchor left the moon-lit water : 
Then the night-wind came and caught her — 
Caught the old brig Marguerite. 
Like a swivel round she swung \ 
From her yards the topsails hung, 
Braced they were, the song was sung — 
" Yo heave ho ! " — with lusty lung. 
Then she sped — and fast — and faster — 
While the shore seemed sweeping past her. 
Who 'd have thought the brig so fleet ! 

On the wind from out the southwards 

Through the channel passed she outwards — 
Passed the lighthouse — passed the pier, 
Winging on her silent flight 
Like a spirit of the night, 
O'er the Channel wave-bedight 
Dancing in the full-moon light. 

Onwards went the stout old vessel 

With Atlantic waves to wrestle, 
With a crew unknown to fear. 

When the sailors stopped their singing 
Faint they heard the distant ringing — 
Listened till it died away. 
Louis Philippe Delarue, 
Sadness came and conquered you : 
Every man among your crew 
Noticed it and spoke of you. 
(Louis Philippe was the skipper 
Of the stout old fishing clipper.) 

" Slack the topsail sheets / Belay / " 


On the pier a woman sighing, 
In her arms an infant lying, 

Watched the sailing Marguerite — 

Watched her growing smaller — smaller, 

Thinking would some ill befall her, 

Picturing perils to enthrall her, 

Longing to shriek — shriek and call her — 
Hopes and fears within her thronging, 
All her soul consumed with longing 
His return. Oh, bitter-sweet ! 

Marguerite they called her also — 
Ship and she were one day called so 
One and twenty years before — 

When the grey-haired feeble dame 

(Marie Augustine Duquesne) 

Down the cobbled footway came 

(How the fishers cheered the dame !) 
To the place where axe and hammer, 
Shaped the ship in wondrous manner — 

There she launched the ship from shore. 

Time his scythe swept swiftly round him, 
Caught the builder, smote him, bound him, 
Laid him in the grave to rest : 

Caught the owner, Jean Duquesne, 

(Dearly loved he ship and main !) 

Many years the men had lain 

Free from sorrow, free from pain ; 
Still the vessel launched that day 
Came to port and sailed away 
Over the Atlantic's breast. 


The babe who saw the vessel christened 
'T was who stood that night and listened 
With a baby of her own — 
Listened as each noisy bell 
Shouted to the brig " Farewell ! " 
And the strokes to her were knells. 
There was sorrow in the bells 
To the wife and youthful mother 
Striving hard her tears to smother ; 
And the tenor seemed to moan. 

As she gazed the moonlight aided : 
But at last the stout ship faded. 

Then her homeward way to trace, 
Lonely, dreary Marguerite, 
White as any winding sheet, 
Slowly walked the cobbled street — 
And her look was wondrous sweet ! 
Louis Philippe Delarue, 
How that woman worshipped you, 
Weeping o'er your baby's face ! 

Till the round moon waned to crescent, 
Till its light became quiescent 
And forsook the starry dome, 
Westward sailed the Marguerite^ 
Borne by winds both fair and fleet, 
Till the driving mist and sleet 
Said to Louis, " Be discreet ! " 
Every star its light concealing 
Deeper grew the lonely feeling — 

Every man had thoughts of home. 


The wind increased : her speed grew quicker : 
Fog and snow-squalls thicker — thicker 
Curtained everything from view ! 

Scarcely could the yards be seen, 

Flying snow-flakes whirled between — 

More unpleasant days, I ween, 

Rarely are, if ever, seen. 
As the sprays came swishing, swirling, 
Out through scuppers rushing, curling, 
Pleased was Captain Delarue — 

Pleased because the fierce wind favoured, 
Pleased, although the old ship laboured, 
Creaked and groaned before the gale. 

" We shall Cape Race lighthouse see 

Ere to-morrow noon," said he : 

And he found the men agree. 

Then he rubbed his hands in glee. 
Though the spars were creaking madly, 
Though the canvas strained so sadly, 
Lessen he would not his sail. 

Plunged the ship like wounded stallion 
Of a baffled war battalion, 

In a struggle fierce and fell ! 

As when fanged and taloned beast 

Howls and gloats o'er jungle feast, 

Came the wind from east-north-east, 

Lashing billows into yeast. 
Ocean's terrors there assembling, 
Through them all the brig went trembling 
In the darkness black as hell. 


On and on, like frightened demon, 
Guided by half-frozen seamen 
Fled the brig of Delarue. 

Woe to ship and crew — alas ! 

In the track they willed to pass 

Lay a white stupendous mass — 

Like an isle of solid glass ! 
Not a sign, a sound or motion 
Gave this terror of the ocean. 
Marguerite, God pity you ! 

Wind and water wildly lashing, 
'Gainst the ice the brig went crashing 
Helpless in the tempest's hand ! 
Human skill could nothing do ! 
Louis Philippe Delarue 
And his terror-stricken crew 
What had happened scarcely knew — 
Scarcely had they time for thinking, 
But they knew that they were sinking 
On the Banks of Newfoundland ! 

Dimly o'er them rose the summit 
Of the berg, as if a plummet 

Had been used in rearing it ; 

Lifting high its cap of snow, 

Up five hundred feet or so, 

Where the storm-fiend cried " Ho, ho ! " 

While the waters down below 
Strove to rend the icy basement, 
Roared like monsters in amazement 
By a shaft of terror hit. 


What tongue can tell the wild confusion ? 
Language can but more illusion, 
Fancy paint the wild distress. 

Boats amid such seething sea 

Worse than useless proved to be. 

Death to windward ! death to lee ! 

Hope was not, and could not be ! 
Then — then did Captain Delarue 
Dying with his dying crew 

Sorrow o'er his recklessness ! 

From the berg the ship rebounded, 
But the cruel waters hounded — 

Dashed her 'gainst the ice again 

Waterlogged and all besprayed, 

Wrecked beyond all human aid, 

How her rending planking groaned ! 

How her timbers creaked and moaned ! 
Then the reckless Delarue 
Something from the vessel threw 
With a stifled cry of pain. 

The Marguerite lurched low to starboard 
And the sailors clung to larboard 
When the ocean swallowed her. 

On the seas went surging — on ! 

Heedless of the drowned throng ; 

And the winds the whole night long 

Seemed to howl a triumph-song. 
One upset and broken dory 
Spake by silence, told the story 
To the passing mariner. 



The Apparition. 

The bells of old Saint Jacques were ringing, 
In the darkened tower swinging, 
Weaving mystic aural spells ; 
And their music winged its flight 
Through the vapours of the night, 
Veiling star and planet-light, 
Hiding all the world from sight — 
Hiding tide and town and tower, 
Mingling with the falling shower 
From the rolling, tolling bells : 

And a woman sat and hearkened — 

In a chamber semi-darkened 
She her loneliness beguiled. 
As her ear the tenor caught 
Sorrow to her soul was brought, 
And she fell in deepest thought 
Till her spirit, terror-fraught, 

Led her into bitter weeping, 

Banished far the thought of sleeping, 
Set her sobbing o'er her child. 

The hand of silence seizing — quelling 

The vibrations, and expelling 

Ringers from the bell-rope lair, 
Round each rusty iron tongue 
In each brazen throat and lung 
Lingered an unearthly hum — 
A belfry epicedium : 

And the watching woman started 

(Not that she was timid-hearted), 
Hearing footsteps on the stair — 


And the tread, familiar seeming, 
Whirled her into wakeful dreaming, 

Turned her gaze towards the clock. 

To the thought, "Has he returned?" 

Every hope was subalterned. 

Brief delusion dearly earned ! — 

How her eager spirit yearned ! — 
She could hear her bosom heaving, 
She could feel her infant cleaving — 
Then there came a softened knock. 

On the landing surely lingers 
He who knocks with muffled fingers 
And who never knocked before. 

To the fastened door she flew — 

" Louis Philippe, is it you ? 

Oh, beloved, tell me true !" 

(Drowning then was Delarue.) 
At the open passage standing 
No one saw she on the landing, 
No one at the open door. 

There she stood and sadly pondered, 
Pressed her throbbing brows and wondered- 
" Do I sleep, or do I wake ? 

Are things really what they seem ? 

Do I think, or only dream?" 

Shadows of the unforeseen 

Fall on ev'ry life, I ween, 
Like the darkness which envelops 
Ere the thunderstorm develops, 

Making man and Nature quake. 


Then the portal softly closing, 
Sat she where the babe was dozing, 
Strove her terror to restrain — 
Terror like a barbed dart 
Buried in her aching heart — 
Strove in spite of mental smart 
Babe and grief to keep apart. 
Scarce a minute was she seated 
Ere the footfalls were repeated 

And the knocking came again ! 

White as though in death she slumbered, 
Horrored, she the knockings numbered, 
Almost maddened by the strain. 
Then (as one who slumbers deep, 
Wandering in his tragic sleep, 
Wakens when constrained to leap 
Over some stupendous steep) 
She again threw wide the portal — 
Yearning for the face of mortal — 
Yearning for a face in vain ! 

There again she stood and pondered, 
Pressed her fevered brows and wondered, 
Gazing down the darkened stair. 
Myst'ry seemed to appertain ! 
Cold the night of wind and rain 
Blew from off the fog-clad main 
And along the cobbled lane, 
Touched the mother, made her shiver, 
Smote the lamp-light, made it quiver 
On the infant's face and hair — 


Smote the flame till it departed, 
And the babe from slumber started — 
Sobbed amid the sudden gloom. 

Marguerite the haunted door 

Reverently closed once more, 

Feeling sadder, more forlore 

Than she ever felt before ; 
Clasped the child in her embraces, 
Kissed away its sorrow's traces 

With a consciousness of doom. 

Then (the shaded lamp rekindled) 
Sat she deep in thought as mingled 

As the night mist, rain and gloom — 

Thought resembling flying wheels, 

Which uneven light reveals 

While it more than half conceals, 

And the sober judgment reels ! 
Was it truth or was it error 
That the baby stared in terror 
At the portal of the room ? 

Marguerite, almost distracted, 
Saw that thus the infant acted 

When the third low knocking came. 

" Visitor, my heart is sore — 

Bid me not to suffer more ! 

Open for yourself the door 

Or depart and come no more ! 
Lone I am, my spirit aching ; 
Sad I am, my heart is breaking ! 

Of your coming what 's the aim ? " 



Answer came there none, nor token ; 

But the door burst wildly open — 

Again the wind from off the main 
Swept the lone apartment round 
With a vague uncertain sound 
(As of engines underground 
Throbbing in a depth profound), 

Mingled with the stifled shrieking 

Of a wretch for mercy seeking ; 
And blew out the lamp again ! 

She, some dark conviction fearing, 
Saw with awe a form appearing — 
Dearer — Oh, by far ! — than life. 
Dimly seen, yet clear to view, 
Stood the figure — Delarue ! 
To her woman's nature true, 
Joy and sorrow pierced her through. 
With expression weird and wild 
Gazed he on the wakened child, 
Gazed in silence on his wife. 

Then cried she, by frenzy maddened, 
By the vision strangely gladdened, 
" Speak, or I shall die of grief ! 

What has happened, Louis ? — say ! 

Is the ship a castaway ? 

Have you come to me to stay ? 

Break this awful silence, pray ! " 
He his dumbness left unbroken, 
But he gave her silent token — 
Gave her heart a sad relief. 


Spread his hands that looked so ashen, 
Smote them thrice as if in passion — 
In a hurricane of dread ! 
Then his arms apart he threw, 
Spread his ashen palms to view, 
As the dying say, " Adieu ! " 
To the worldly residue. 
Then the figure fled for ever. 
1 Louis, I shall see thee never ! 

Christ sustain me ! Thou art dead ! " 


The Bottle on the Beach. 

The bells of old Saint Jacques were sounding, 
In the grey old tower bounding — 

Mad it seemed were they who rang ! 

Every bellrope-pulling wight 

Rang his bell with all his might, 

And the tones in noisy flight 

Wavered in the wind and light — 
Now they seemed asleep and dreaming, 
Now awake, alarmed, and screaming 
As in fright, their brazen clang. 

Like the sounds of dancers tripping, 
Rained the tones upon the shipping 
Nestled in the haven's bowl — 

On the colours Gallican, 

On the busy waterman, 

On the castle's barbican 

And its lolling veteran, 
On the busy sons and daughters 
Toiling on and by the waters 

Which along the shore inroll. 


Like to wings of varied feather, 

Flashing in the golden weather 
Of the fairest tropic clime, 
(Where the rolling waves arise, 
Where the flying sprays baptise, 
Where the soaring sea-mew flies,) 
Spread and furled in varied size, 

Sails of black, and red, and yellow, 

Buff, and brown, and bright, and mellow — 
Canvas pinions maritime. 

O'er the British Channel, glory 
Worthy of a fairy story 

Quivered in the golden mist — 

Airy, fairy curtain spun 

By the burning August sun 

Ere his heated race was run, 

And which wrapped him when 't was done- 
When his reddened face was plunging 
And the light of day expunging 
In a sea of amethyst. 

To the bells a widow hearkened, 

Wrapped as one who hears a legend 
Which enthralls the very soul, 
Makes of life the wildest dream 
Of the unknown and unseen 
Whirled in mingled gloom and gleam, 
(Like a maddened moonlit stream) 

Which enthralls both sight and hearing, 

Wakens hoping, wakens fearing 
Tremulous beyond control. 


On her features, thin and ashen, 
Who could gaze without compassion 
Such as bids the tears to start ? 

Sorrow-burdened were her sighs, 

Sorrow lay within her eyes, 

Sorrow which despair implies, 

Sorrow such as never dies — 
Chafing, as the restless ocean, 
Throbbing, sobbing, with emotion 
On the shore-line of her heart. 

On her brow lay lines of sadness, 
In her eyes there beamed no gladness, 
Where of old it ever beamed — 

Twinkled like a star in space — 

Lighting all the merry face, 

When her beauty (now a trace) 

Dazzled through the bridal lace. 
As the morning sunlight glimmers 
Through the pane where hoar-frost shimmers, 
Through the veil her beauty gleamed. 

The share of sorrow's plough had fallowed 

In a soil affection-hallowed — 

Furrowed deep her brow and cheek. 
In her gentle eyes lay meres, 
Sources of two streams of tears. 
Ah ! the cheek-rose disappears 
When sad hope, deferred, and fears 

Blast it like a scorching tempest, 

Tread it in their weary contest 
For the spirit of the meek. 


Though three weary years had flitted, 
Hope was still 'gainst fearing pitted — 
Hope of what she could not say. 
Fear had grown to huge despair. 
(Mark the widow's whitened hair, 
List her tones of pressing care.) 
Hope was valiant still to dare — 
Would not quit the field of fancy, 
But found strange coadjuvancy 
In conviction, night and day. 

In the heavens of her sorrow 

Shone a planet, called To-morrow, 
Which no eye but hers could see. 
Louis Philippe Delarue, 
Oaken ship and Norman crew, 
Lingered in the minds of few, 
And they daily fainter grew. 

Neighbours' thoughts became deflected 

And the mystery neglected 
Save by this pale devotee. 

As she listened to the ringing, 
She in fancy heard the singing 

Of her husband's toiling crew, 
Mingling with the clicking sound 
Of the windlass whirling round 
When the anchor broke its ground 
And the brig was outward bound. 
Floating on the harbour's water, 
What a stately ship she thought her — 
Fishing brig of Delarue ! 


Wider grew the strand and wider. 
Living laughter stood beside her 
In her dark-haired merry boy, 

Who a helpless babe had lain 

Heedless of the wind and rain, 

Heedless of his mother's pain 

When the ghost-hand knocked again — 
Who from out his slumber started 
When the wind-smote light departed 
With the light of wifely joy. 

Lower fell the tide and lower 
(Just as if an unseen mower 

Scythed the waters from the shore) 

Till upon the shining sand 

Of the sun-reflecting band 

Bordering the outer strand, 

Dropped from out the ocean's hand 
Which with weeds the sand had littered, 
Lay a gem-like thing which glittered — 
Seemed to glitter more and more ! 

While the mother gazed and pondered, 
Gazed the merry child and wondered, 
Shading with his hand his eyes. 

Eagerness was in his look, 

So his childish hand she took, 

While her own with tremor shook. 

" Mother ! mother ! " said he, " look ! " 
Though the willing parent seeming, 
She was strangely pained, and dreaming — 
Dreams like his who dreams he dies ! 


All that glitters is not golden, 
(Knowledge sometimes wisely holden), 
'T was a bottle that thus shone ! 
While the widow meek and mild 
Feeling by the fact beguiled 
At the object-lesson smiled, 
Anger swelled within the child, 
And in childish rage he smote it — 
Cast a stone upon and broke it 
As his elders might have done. 

Something 'mid the fragments fluttered- 
(Sad the cry the widow uttered — 

Kiss me ! — kiss me, oh ! my son !) 
To the myst'ry 't was the clue, 
Penned by Captain Delarue, 
Which he 'mid the tempest threw 
Ere he sank with all his crew, 
While against the iceberg's basement 
They were dashing in amazement — 
There to dash till life was done. 



A S polished steel the sea all rippleless outspreads, 

A vast and circled shield cast on the earth. 
A streak of quivering light Venus, as herald, sheds — 
A bar of silver on the shield's east girth. 

The silent watchers of the constellations flee — 
Blow out their silver lamps and hide themselves 

Before the face of him whom they from heaven foresee — 
Desert the sky's blue field — depart like fairy elves. 

Like resting bird the ship in silence lies asleep, 

A boss upon the centre of the shield ; 
Her rigging, spars and lights reflecting in the deep, 

Confused like lamps and trees within a weald. 

The helmsman holds the wheel with careless hands, as he 
Who lightly holds the reins of standing steeds ; 

In listless attitudes the watch look on the sea : 
To home and friends the mind of each man speeds 

As wild in flight as untamed birds deprived of sight, 
Which hither and then thither dart and wheel. 

Our wildest dreams are not in sleep and of the night : 
Devotion is not deep because we kneel. 


Now on the east horizon — on the great shield's rim — 
Appears a belt of light with tapered ends 

And tinted like a pale red rose. The belt is dim — 
Less dim — now bright — and now to scarlet tends ! 

Venus turns pallid and withdraws her silver bar 

As if to be in readiness for flight : 
She seems a jewel on a fading blue simar — 

Upon the skirt by some mistake empight. 

Upwards and outwards spreads the rosy blush, till all 

The eastern heaven assumes the tint, 
And pendent vapours spread a scarlet pall 

Bedecked with gold this instant from the mint. 

Each minute — second ! calls increasing glory forth, 
Glory beyond the power of words to paint, 

Till all the gorgeous east around to south and north 
Is like a conflagration passed beyond restraint. 

Oh, splendid curtains of the rising god's rich couch ! 

What unseen spirit-hands your folds unbind ? 
You signal with reflected flame the orb's debouch — 

He comes ! he comes ! hail him, all human-kind ! 

Venus is gone ! once more her morning story told, 
Up leaps the god ! in dazzling brightness clad, 

And at his magic touch the ocean turns to gold 
And looks all joyful where the whole looked sad. 

Great sheets of yellow flame appear the hanging sails 
The masts and all on board that sunwards show 

All yellow gold appear — the shrouds and brails — 
From truck to water line the ship 's aglow. 


The helmsman and the look-out screen their aching eyes 

As though a furnace opened to their gaze, 
Appearing clad in garments of the sun's own guise — 

With glory e'en their tatters are ablaze ! 

Abaft the starboard quarter, where the sky looks cold, 
A line of deepest blue defined and clear — 

Like to a hem of indigo on flashing cloth of gold — 
The footprints of the morning breeze appear 

And sweep with eagle speed the sleeping main, 
As sweeps the shadow of a cloud at noon. 

The listless seamen are awake — alert again — 
(As men are always to receive a boon) 

To trim the sheets and haul the larboard braces in. 

Flap ! boom ! the topsails spread before the wind 
And cause the ship to move and like a spider spin 

A trailing web— the wake she leaves behind. 

The sun awaked the wind— the wind the ship — the ship 
the sailors all, 

And now the wavelets wake and rippling run. 
Behind the ship the lengthened shadows vaguely fall ; 

Before, the flaming path points to the sun. 



Unbroken blue the vault of heaven extends above, 
As 't were a vast and glorious temple-dome 

By superhuman hands upreared in toiling love 
For mankind's worship, and for mankind's home. 


Unbroken blue the tropic sea spreads round about — 
The pale blue temple's stainless dark blue floor, 

On which a concourse vast of waves — a revel-rout — 
In joyful movement discipline ignore. 

They leap and clap their hands as if in wild applause, 

They give a greeting to the rushing gales 
Which like to deep bassoons play on without a pause 

Among the straining cordage and the well-stretched sails. 

An ark tall-canopied the ship moves swiftly on 
Upon the shoulders of the surging crowds. 

How grand ! how vast she seems ! with none to paragon — 
Spray on her deck and strain in weather shrouds. 

From off the centre of the temple roof, the sun 
Pours down upon the billow-crowded floor 

Intensest light and heat, before he overrun 
The half-way mark 'twixt morn's and even's door. 

Black shadows play and sway about the rolling decks, 
So narrow they, no shade do they afford — 

In constant movement useless — merely flecks — 
From side to side they move — some overboard. 

Good humour lights the captain's bronzed and bearded face 

Rings in his voice and sparkles in his eye. 
He tells again old tales with laughter and grimace. 

Each tale half truth — always the greater lie — 

Yet he the soul of honour, and possessed of heart 

Sufficient for the bodies of a score ; 
Full of kind words and deeds, and ready to impart 

To him in need, though scanty his own store. 


Aloft, from time to time, he casts his practised glance 

(As searching as an eagle's) to the sails. 
He dearly loves to hear the windy resonance 

And tapping of the loosely-hanging brails. 

The helmsman knits his shaggy brows as if in ire, 
And holds the throbbing wheel as in a vise ; 

The angled rudder and the rushing sea conspire 
To give his muscles their full exercise. 

Communing with the compass, converse holds he not — 

His but to watch, to listen, to obey, 
And keep the point marked " east " against the metal dot 

While speeds the ship like well-spurred galloway. 

The busy cook within his galley softly hums 

And clinks and clangs his own accomp'nyment ; 
Black as a kettle's base and plump as his own buns 

On speedy wing the graceful sea-fowl follow fast — 
They seem to me the souls of seamen drowned, 

Who have for sailors, ships, and ocean's briny blast 
Dumb love, which they are yearning to propound. 

Now like to children's tethered kites aloft they soar ; 

Now plunge like meteors t'wards the leaping waves j 
Now, wheeling o'er the taffrail, they appear to gloar — 

As might the souls of those in wat'ry graves. 

Proclaiming noon, four times the bell ting-tings, 
And every post of duty changes hands. 

To traveling ships (and worlds) unbroken order clings, 
Though at the wheel another steersman stands. 




O'er the sea's edge the sun a dazzling disc 
In splendour hangs, preparing for his plunge : 

Upon the heaven's bright page he stamps an asterisk 
Of yellow beams which western things expunge. 

With floods of flame and light the waterflood he laves : 
The ship, it seems, has sailed through molten gold 

Which looks as though it boiled, so bright the flashing waves 
Which from the moving taffrail lie outrolled. 

Halfway between the zenith and the horizon 

A narrow cloud extends all bloody red, 
Like outstretched arms at time of evening benizon 

From lips of veiled god — and merited. 

Oh, little wonder some men worship thee — great sun ! 

Thou source of countless blessings to mankind. 
I hail thy wondrous beauty ere thy course is run, 

With not a little profit to my mind. 

Still wheel the birds above the good ship's foaming wake, 
But black as crows seen 'gainst the blazing sky ; 

Within the disc from time to time their forms they slake, 
To vision lost as in the flames they fly. 

Bathed in the solar flood each sail and rope and spar 
Uprear like cords and sheets of yellow fire, 

And cast gigantic shadows on the course afar — 
As if to guide the helmsman they desire. 


And thus sails on the ship ! Abaft a path of light j 
Before, a path of shade-waves grey and dark, 

As from the sinking sun t'wards Ind she wings her flight. 
Ho ! for the dancing waves and rolling bark. 

Less blazing grows the west as day's orb dips his rim 

And veils his face enough for human eye ; 
Down, and still down ! behind the dark'ning brim — 

Oh, wondrous changes of the sea and sky ! 

In robe of darkest purple rolls the sea behind 
'Neath crimson sky that shades to bluish grey, 

And faintly seen the evening star I find — 
A chamber-light where sleeps the god of day. 

The yellow flame now dies from off the spars and sails, 

And all aloft puts on a dull array : 
Where gladness was is sadness which awhile prevails, 

For mind and heart become its willing prey. 

Coolness is in the air — it seems apology \ 

Dampness is also there — men's charity ; 
It breathes a fitful moan— some men's doxology : 

It comes in puffs — like popularity. 

Now tinkle, tinkle ! goes the steward's merry bell. 

Mirth we unbind and jokes go wildly free. 
What care we if we hear what we can better tell ? 

Thank God for ships ! Thank God for life at sea ! 




The wind has ceased to blow its shrilly fife aloft ; 

The piper, weary, heaves but fitful sighs 
Like to a sleeping infant's breathing, low and soft — 

The ship no longer with the sea-fowl vies. 

As 't were a creeping phantom goes she slowly on, 

The silent burden of a silent sea ; 
With flattened sails she seems a tall automaton — 

In stately measure moves her dignity. 

Like two bright gems in oaken setting on her sides 
The starboard and the larboard lights outshine, 

A ruby and an emerald, which as she glides 
Reflect and quiver in the passing brine. 

Distinct appear her rails where rests the shining dew, 
Save where the blackened shadows fall and lie ; 

Like pencils slowly scribbling on a sheet of blue 
Her swaying topmasts move against the sky. 

The mistless moon, a silver-vested queen, sinks west — 
With rounded eye she gazes on the deep, 

Which bright as silver shimmers where her footsteps rest 
And where her trailing garments lightly sweep. 

The sails and spars reflect, and ghost-like shadows cast. 

The moon an artist is in black and white — 
So weird her work, the timid stand and gaze aghast, 

Till reason their mentality munite. 


Peace reigns on deck, peace reigns aloft and down below — 
A sense of peace steals over heart and mind, 

Which fills them both with kindly thoughts which overflow 
In tenderness to folly-struck mankind. 

The hush of peace broods o'er the rolling ocean's breast, 
Pervades the broad blue vault of heaven above ; 

And from the stars looks down as if to manifest 
That God desires a universal love. 

Oh, beauteous night ! How eloquent thy quietness ! 

And how majestic is thy temple's space ! 
The world seems not, is not so sadly fatherless — 

Some love within thy sacred walls I trace. 

Oh, would to God this witching calm might last for e'er ! 

As darkness shall when Sol 's consumed his light. 
Alas ! round goes the earth. Before the morning glare 

Away you '11 flee, sweet Spirit of the Night ! 

Such is the world, and such is checkered human life, 
That pain and sadness tread the heels of joy. 

Clang ! Clang ! the midnight bell cuts like a brazen knife ; 
And hoarsely calls the boatswain, " Watch ahoy ! " 


A superstition once widely spread still lingers here and there in 
the minds of seamen. An abandoned ship is believed to be taken 
possession of, and guided by, a demon bent on mischief. This I have 
connected with the mysterious loss of the ship City of Boston, which 
sailed from Halifax, N.S., for England many years ago, and was never 
afterwards heard of. 


'"pHE proud four-master Kennebec past San Domingo swept, 
And, by the shores of Hayti, east her stately course 
she kept. 
The turquoise-like Caribbean Sea lay rolling far behind — 
To-morrow Mona Passage would if wind continued kind. 
Oh, the waters rippled gaily ! 
They had rippled gaily daily 
Since the Kennebec weighed anchor, 
And with topsails, jib, and spanker 
Put out of San Juan de Nicaragua. 

The stately, queenly Kennebec was neat from truck to keel ; 
As graceful as a swan she moved responsive to her wheel. 
Mahogany and sandalwood were stowed away below : 
In perfect trim she courted wind and longed to feel it blow 

With her canvas swelling grandly ! — 

The wind had blown too blandly 

From the night she weighed her anchor, 

And with topsails, jib, and spanker 
Sailed out of San Juan de Nicaragua. 


But soon the wind was hot and faint — it hotter, fainter grew, 
Till the crew declared a hotter night at sea they never knew. 
Then the waters ceased to ripple, and appeared as molten 

And the thirty sails hung motionless among the rigging dead. 

The crescent seemed to quiver 

Like reflection in a river. 

Though strange it was, and stranger, 

There was not a thought of danger 
On board the ship that sailed from Nicaragua. 

A squall swept on the Kennebec ; the seamen ran amast : 
The tail of the Caribbean was lashed to foam so fast 
Amazement and confusion took possession of her crew j 
The Captain called in terror, and the boatswain's whistle 

With her canvas rent and rending, 

And her spars to leeward bending, 

The Kennebec was blasted 

And became a wreck dismasted 
Six days from San Juan de Nicaragua. 

The Kennebec, tornado-struck, with all her beauty lowered, 
Was shivered through and leaky, and the water freely 

Mahogany and sandalwood had shifted down below ; 
No time was there for wasting, so the boats must over go 

As the ship was rolling madly 

Abandoned was she gladly ; 

And as the crew departed 

From the sea the Demon started. 
Farewell to San Juan de Nicaragua ! 


He trod with glee the reeling wreck, and grinned from ear 

to ear. 
" A goodly craft is this," said he, " to play the Buccaneer." 
Then paced he wildly to and fro, and paced from side to 

And softly chuckled when he saw how rapid was the tide. 
With the Mona Passage frantic 
As a winter-tossed Atlantic, 
And a darkness to be felt, 
What terror might be dealt 
In silence by the hulk from Nicaragua ! 

The demon-guided Kennebec^ with trailing rope and mast, 
Swept westwards on the current, and the Isle of Hayti 

As, like a lurking devil-fish, she fled the open east, 
She waited for her victims like a jungle-hidden beast. 

'Mid the mist and gloom of ocean 

And for e'er and e'er in motion, 

A derelict and demon 

Keep in terror hardy seamen, 
As turtles are in terror of a jaguar. 

Between the Isle of Cuba and the coast of Yucatan, 
Thence round the Gulf of Mexico the ship and demon ran : 
And the demon cowered shyly during weather warm and 

But he gambolled like a kitten in the darkness of the night ; 

And when the sky was clouded 

And the orbs of heaven shrouded, 

Like a ballet-dancer he 

While he tittered in his glee 
On the wreck that sailed in pride from Nicaragua. 


Along the coast of Florida, past Great Bahama Isle, 

The Kennebec went slowly like a lazy crocodile ; 

By the moonlight and the sunlight was the demon's 

scheming foiled, 
And the waters lay as smooth as if the ocean had been oiled. 

Ship after ship went past her 

Eluding all disaster, 

Till the spirit who commanded 

Would have gladly seen her stranded 
Or back in San Juan de Nicaragua. 

"I'll leave these sunny regions" to himself he muttered 

" Ho ! for the roaring forties* and the northern wind and 

Where the mists in masses gather on the billows feather 

And the breaking waters thunder on the decks by day and 

Aye ! let the north be chosen, 
Where the look-out men are frozen : 
Where the passengers dissembling 
Try in vain to hide their trembling. 
To the north must go the ship from Nicaragua ! " 

At length within the latitudes where winter fury pours 
Midway 'twixt Nova Scotia and the billow-lashed Azores, 
Within a misty region under rule of fog and night, 
Like a deadly cobra lurking, lay the wand'rer out of sight : 

And the shifting logs below 

Moved thumping to and fro, 

While from stem to stern she trembled 

And a living thing resembled 
With a heart of wood from sunny Nicaragua. 

* The stormiest portion of the Atlantic. 



From Halifax a stately ship of queenly mien and mould, 
Set out on her majestic way amidst the wind and cold : 
She weighed her pond'rous anchors as the clocks were 

striking ten — 
Her name the Boston City, and her crew were Englishmen. 

Five hundred hearts were throbbing, 

And some tender women sobbing : 

Farewells their hearts were rending, 

But no thought of what was pending — 
No dream had they of wrecks from Nicaragua ! 

'Neath a leaden-clouded heaven — o'er a dark grey ocean's 

breast — 
Onwards ! like a mighty athlete did she with the billows 

Thrice the forms of dark and daylight stalked across the 

ocean's face 
And beheld her speeding eastwards with a frightened grey- 
hound's pace. 

Brave her Captain was and cheery, 
Watchful was he and unweary, 
Never missed the watch-bell's tolling 
As the Boston City rolling 
Drew nearer to the wreck from Nicaragua. 

When the fourth night drew her curtains, heavy were the 

winds and sea, 
And the storm fiend sat and whistled 'midst the rigging in 

his glee; 


While below with mirth and music merry hearts gave wings 

to time, 
Listened to the singer's music and the poet's merry 

Now and then the waves' dull thunder 
Seemed to rend the decks asunder — 
Rang out like a solemn knell 
From a speaking muffled bell — 
Beware ! — beware of her from Nicaragua ! 

Eight-bells struck the hour of midnight. " Larboard watch 

ahoy ! — ahoy ! " 
On the Kennebec the demon heard and chuckled in his joy. 
For the wreck in mist enveloped, human eyes were all in vain; 
And the Boston City's boastwain ne'er would call the watch 

Crash ! and awful cry — " Collision ! " 
Vain the Captain's cool decision, 
Vain the efforts of the seamen — 
Loud the laughter of the demon 
On board the hulk from sunny Nicaragua ! 

Terror, like a whelming toirent, swept the Boston City 

through : 
Trembling men and shrieking women mingled with her 

striving crew. 
"Low'r the boats ! Look sharp ! — Stand back, there ! — 

Sinking ! Sinking !— No !— You lie ! " 
Not a man and not a woman but was doomed that night to 

Swift the inward flow of waters — 
Fierce collision's awful daughters ! 
None to aid her, none to pity, 
Down ! down sank the Boston City 
Far beneath the wreck from Nicaragua ! 


TNTO the night without a star, 

Into the driving cloud — 
Up where the fiends of the tempest are 

Tower the mast and shroud ! 
Whee-ewe ! whistles the winter wind — 

Ewe-ee — whee-ee — ee-ewe ! 
The snow-flakes fiercely drive, and blind 

The eyes of the freezing crew ; 
They melt on the planks of the reeling deck, 

And pile on the rolling rails ; 
We see them whirl where the lanterns fleck, 

And cling to the stretching sails — 
While the ship goes trembling up, 

And the ship goes plunging down, 
And the inky seas to windwards tup 

And over to leeward frown. 

The look-out man by the bowsprit stands, 

(A stoic at heart is he) 
Pocketed deep are his horny hands — 

'T is little that he can see ! 
The melting snow from his oilskin drips 

With the drip of the driving spray. 
'T is his to search for the rocks and ships 

That lie in the helmsman's way ; 


To watch for the beam of the moving light 

And the shade of the booming sail 
That come like ghosts, on a misty night, 

And gallop before the gale. 
Loudly whistles the biting wind 

That carries the broken foam : 
It puckers his face and is most unkind 

But it speaks of a welcome home. 

The light in the binnacle dimly rays — 

Looks up in the helmsman's eyes, 
And he looks down with a steady gaze 

That the swings of the card defies. 
The rim of his slouched sou'-wester glows, 

And the tan of his hardened cheek : 
The skipper's order is all he knows, 

And the wheel's responsive creak. 
The cold may cut and the storm assail, 

(The lot of a tar is hard) 
But he meets the blows of the driving gale 

As stern as a Roman guard. 
He " feels " the shake of the topsail leech, 

Though out of a mortal's sight, 
And spins the wheel with a grasping reach 

Till the "fill" of the sail is right. 

There 's a sound aloft as of distant drums 

That are beaten around the dead, 
And the straining stay of the staysail thrums 

And quivers the foremast head. 
Whee-ewe ! whistles the rushing wind, 

Ee-ewe — whee-ee — ewe-ee ! 
And passes away with a moan behind 

On the groan of the seething sea. 


Now thick as a hedge the flying fog 

Rolls over the foaming brine ; 
And the faithful cowering sailor's dog 

Awakens from sleep to whine — 
He knows we are near the land, 

And he knows we are nearing home ; 
But nothing is seen on either hand, 

And the night is fierce and lone. 

The sailor-boy is as pale as death 

With a mixture of fear and cold : 
By chatt'ring teeth and uncertain breath 

The tale of his woe is told, 
And he clings with a chilly hand 

To a rope at the windward rail — 
He 's so fatigued he can scarcely stand 

In the gusts of the smiting gale. 
In a drowsy dream the dancing flame 

Shines over a humble hearth ; 
He sees the face of a grey-haired dame, 

The dearest of all on earth : 
And fainter visions are conjured up 

From the depth of the sailor-mind — 
The seamen sit with their wives to sup 

And their wives are wondrous kind. 

Now — now their children around them flock, 

And merry the children seem ; 
They see the face of the wakeful clock — 

It catches the embers' beam : 
The tend'rest eyes in the wide, wide earth 

Look into the sailors' own ; 
They feel the warmth, and they know the worth 

Of the sights and sounds of home. 


Now quicker and quicker the pulses beat 

As though at a glad surprise — 
The lips of the wife and the husband meet, 

And the mariner softly sighs. 
Whee-ewe ! leeward the spars are borne — 

And the shivering boy and crew 
By a dash of spray are made forlorn — 

Their visions all fade from view ! 

Up in the night without a star, 

Up in the driving cloud, 
Up where the fiends of the tempest are 

Stagger the mast and shroud ! 
Wildly whistles the winter wind — 

Ee-ewe — whee-ee — ewe-ee / 
Like silver flashes the foam behind 

Where the vessel has ploughed the sea, 
While every man at his station stands 

Awaiting the skipper's call 
With willingmost heart and promptest hands 

To battle the fitful squall. 
As weathered as rock he stands to peer 

As into the drift he 's borne, 
Without a shadow of craven fear — 

As tough as a bullock's horn ! 

As nought to him are the wind and cold, 

As nought are the snow and gloom ; 
He wills his ship to the wind to hold 

As stiff as the creaking boom. 
She seems to fathom his iron mind — 

The weather-beat oaken ship 
Whose rudder and wind-strained canvas bind 

The course in a bear-like grip. 


The straining mizzenmast shrouds he holds, 

And studies the passing night 
Without fatigue till his eye beholds 

The flash of the harbour light. 
The loud boom-oom ! of the breakers' bray 

Is heard on the jagged rocks, 
And the fierce swee-ish I of the flying spray 

That the struggling vessel mocks. 

His mouth is set and his brows are knit, 

And strained are the eye and ear, 
The whirling snow-flakes flutter and flit, 

And the channel is very near. 
The trusty crew and the faithful dog 

Are held in the master's hand 
As on we go through the snow and fog, 

And in for the harbour stand. 
No voice but his on the silence breaks, 

And the mariner's low " Aye, aye." 
Though masters many have made mistakes, 

The souls of the sailors say — 
He rules his nerves, and he rules his crew 

As he governs the helm and sail, 
And sure we are he will put her through 

In spite of the gloom and gale ! 

All eyes are strained for the harbour light — 

We know it must soon be seen. 
A glimmer — a flash ! and the dreary night 

Is lit with its cheerful beam. 
We hail it all with a hearty cheer, 

Three points on the weather bow — 
Now boldly in may the helmsman steer, 

Though hidden the rocky brow. 


Now flashes it white, and now blood red 

As rapidly sweeps the barque. 
'T was truth the soul of the sailor said 

In spite of the storm and dark ! 
The captain's brow is no longer knit, 

And his lips assume a smile. 
The lighthouse-keeper perceives us flit 

On the final and harbour mile. 

Whee-ewe / — mad are the wind and sleet ! 

The tone of the skipper is glee — 
" Ease off, ease off the spanker sheet ! 

Hard up the helm and keep her free ! " 
With merriest rattle the sheets fly out, 

And a booming is heard o'erhead ; 
We rapidly travel the land-locked route 

And the toss of the seas have sped. 
The glimmering windows of home we see, 

And the weather-beat canvas furl — 
So-ho ! for the fireside jubilee, 

Where flames of the pine logs curl. 
Now merrily, merrily " round we to " 

Forgetting the storm and snow — 
The captain laughs, and the hardy crew, 

As over the anchors go. 



The travels of Nansen and others in Greenland have shown that a 
huge ice-cap covers the interior, like a frozen deluge, at an elevation 
of from 6000 to 10,000 feet, broken here and there by protruding 
mountain tops. This ever-growing mass thrusts the glaciers seawards 
along the ice fjords till they break into gigantic blocks and plunge 
into Baffin's Bay, to drift slowly southwards through Davis' Strait, 
and thence along the coasts of Labrador and Newfoundland. Thus 
originates the wanderin iceberg of the North Atlantic. 

"P\OWN — down in the realms of the boreal pole, 

Deep — deep in the region of storm, 
Down — down where the Pole-star is well overhead, 

The heavens a circle perform ; 
And there, on a bosom granitic that frowns 

On the ice-fjords that glitter below, 
Ten thousand feet up in continuous frost 

And 'mid the continuous snow 
(Where the Goddess Aurora sits shaking her fan 

In the face of a vapourless moon — 
Where the sun circles round for the half of the year 

And is cold — like a yellow balloon) 
Resides a dumb spirit of terrible toil, 

Who is working by night and by day, 
Who entered on work at the dawning of time 

To continue it ever and aye ! 


That spirit no mortal has ever beheld — 

No mortal shall ever behold ! 
At a mortal's approach his invisible robes 

The form of the spirit enfold, 
Composed of a fabric of bitterest frost 

From the loom of the axis of earth 
Which silently works in the mill of the winds 

Unsullied by sorrow or mirth. 
In anger are shaken the measureless skirts 

And the withering blizzard uplifts : 
Then stiff in the snow lies the form of the foe 

The victim of smothering drifts. 
Thus — thus it has happened — shall happen again ! 

When adventurous mortals shall go 
Ten thousand feet up where perpetual frost 

Sweeps over perpetual snow. 

The spirit of toil has for ever produced 

(And production shall ever go on, 
The ice-cap reducing but never reduced) 

What the glacier is suckled upon. 
In the fjord that infant gigantic has lain 

Eternally growing — to grow : 
Through ages unnumbered his foregoing train 

Has been flowing and ever shall flow 
To the waiting embrace of the blue Baffin's Bay, 

And the current that flows from the pole — 
Where out of the zenith Polaris' ray 

Gives light to no mariner's soul. 
I am one of the train that in collocate course 

Stole outwards to Baffin's embrace. 
The Fjord 's my mother, my father is Force — 

I resemble my father in face. 


Yes ! I came from the bosom granitic that frowns 

On my mother that glitters below — 
The region the ice-cap eternally crowns, 

Which is clothed in a mantle of snow. 
Above me Aurora has shaken her fan 

In the face of a vapourless moon, 
And the sun has wheeled round me through half of 
the year, 

While Boreas blew the bassoon. 
I have seen the dumb spirit of terrible toil, 

I have felt him by night and by day: 
As calm as Polaris he 's never accoil — 

He 's a god ! and for ever and aye. 
Ho-ho ! for the glories that dwell in the north, 

Where a night and a day are a year, 
And the stars which look down upon man in the south 

Can never for ever appear ! 

I came through the centuries down to the sea 

In my mother's cold, rocky embrace ; 
I cared not a snow-flake for what was to be, 

And my father decided the pace. 
I needed no compass, I needed no chart, 

Though I journeyed where ledges abound ; 
I saw the sun come, and I saw it depart, 

And the stars in their courses go round : 
But I reckoned not time like the mortals who live 

At the tips of the fingers of death 
(The mortals who wrong but who cannot forgive), 

And who perish for want of a breath. 
When the Spirit shakes out from his vesture the frost, 

And the withering blizzard uplifts, 
The boldest " Ha-ha ! " is bewildered and lost, 

And blind to the beauty of drifts. 


Oh, well I remember the day that I first 

Plunged into the indigo sea ! 
With a sound as of thunder I suddenly burst 

From the arms of my mother — was free ! 
Then wildly I frolicked ! — and maddened with joy 

I tossed all around me the sprays 
Till I fitted the folds of the blue bavaroy, 

And sat like the Ancient of Days. 
How the echoes repeated the sound of my voice, 

And the fjord re-echoed with glee, 
While Baffin rose round me to wildly rejoice 

And beat the bass-drum of the sea ! 
My immaculate brow, with nobility crowned, 

Looked down to the depths of the deep : 
Beneath and above me I saw the profound 

And both of them quiet as sleep. 

For weeks was the coming of wind deterred 

And the heaven was blue and fair, 
While the antics I watched of the walrus herd 

And the wandering polar bear : 
And I felt the touch of the pond'rous whale 

That swam in the depths below — 
I saw the sweep of his muscular tail 

As he sped to the top to blow. 
The feather-clad tribes of the northern seas 

Were winging on sea and shore, 
But never a ripple ! and never a breeze ! 

And never a breaker's roar ! 
The sweetest of peace in the north is found — 

In the region that men call drear, 
Where stars go travelling round and round 

The whole of the speeding year. 


The muscular steed of the polar tide 

Came cantering down the bay, 
And the north wind bade me to mount and ride- 
So I mounted and came away ! 
While the sea-fowl circled around in flocks 

Where the towering cliffs engrail, 
The snowy-white fox on the jagged rocks 

Stood wagging his bushy tail, 
And he barked a sort of a short " good-bye ! " 

When he knew I was riding south, 
And I saw him friskily shorewards hie 

As he panted with open mouth. 
On the outmost point of an upthrust reef 

Where the treach'rous currents run 
I saw him standing in sharp relief 

In the light of the midnight sun. 

I saw my mother behind me stand 

In her garments of white and blue, 
With a precipice naked on either hand 

And her offspring issuing through. 
Her face in the distance fade, I saw, 

Just under the horned moon, 
But I felt no pang for a moment gnaw 

For the loss of my greatest boon. 
Behind me followed the seals in herds 

And they croaked in their wild delight, 
While all around and above the birds 

Kept answering day and night. 
I heard the billows around me roar 

And swish / as their caps they threw ; 
While merrily, merrily, more and more 

The boreal bellows blew. 


As farther from zenith Polaris sailed 

Deep into the fading north, 
The stars I never before had hailed 

From out of the sea came forth. 
I saw the island of Disco lift 

Unsullied its robe of snow, 
And shake a kerchief of gauzy drift 

Whenever the wind did blow. 
Amid the waters of Davis' Strait 

The fun of my flight began — 
I saw the form and the awkward gait 

Of the two-legged animal man. 
Some specimens crawled from a curious hole 

That peeped from a sheltered shore — 
My merriment breaking beyond control 

I laughed till my sides were sore. 

Then he who under the Pole-star stood 

Outpuffing the bellows' breath, 
Began to fail in his lustyhood — 

Becoming as still as death ! 
But the boreal steed on the southward road 

Has never been known to rest, 
(The owner attends with a sharpened goad 

And is never in mood to jest), 
So whether the winds be high or low, 

Be powerless or be strong 
I heed but little. The tide must flow 

And my journeying south prolong ! 
If all the billows from Belle Isle Strait 

To water-worn Cape Farewell 
Were wind-reversed to compel me wait, 

They couldn't transgress the spell ! 


For weeks I travelled through restless floes 

And they parted to give me room, 
Till Labrador from the waters rose 

In the light of the stars and moon. 
I thought of my home, for it looked as fair 

As merrily past I ran : 
But I felt the loss of my native air 

When its southerly wind began. 
Then gathering mists on the waters rose 

And scudded before the breeze — 
They veiled the forms of the snow-white floes 

And the face of the darkened seas ! 
The lowering moon and the rising sun 

Were smothered to death by fog ! 
No sound I heard but the breakers' run 

And the howl of a straying dog. 

Then fishermen's schooners with dripping sail 

Like wandering ghosts went by, 
And I heard the fishers the fog bewail 

And pray for a sunlit sky. 
Then one to another a greeting sent 

Because they were so forlorn — 
The sorrows of men, it seemed, were blent 

With the sound of the lusty horn. 
When night had settled and all was black 

There mingled a cry of woe — 
A schooner had suffered her stem to crack 

At the tap of a baby floe : 
But whether or not she kept afloat 

I cannot pretend to say — 
I heard the splash of a falling boat 

And I know that it rowed away. 


The bellowing tones of the fog-trump's breath — 

Swelled out from the Belle Isle shore ; 
It seemed the cry of the fear of death — 

Of a monster cast ashore 
Who yelled imploring for leave to live 

With permission but once to cry. 
The devil, I trow, such a yell might give 

If he were decreed to die. 
It seemed to frighten the world of mist 

And the fisher-craft far and wide : 
At any rate, fishermen stopped to list, 

And spoke of the wind and tide, 
Then hastily turned their craft about 

And headed them out to sea. 
In terror they cried "Look out — look out !" 

On catching a glimpse of me. 

The longest night to a close shall tend 

As long as the world goes round, 
And even a southerly wind must end — 

Must set to its life a bound. 
That wind had travelled for weeks, I trow, 

To gather its heat and wet ; 
No wonder that even an iceberg's brow 

Should know what it is to sweat ! 
It fainter grew till at last it died — 

I wish it a lengthy rest. 
Right glad was I and my steed the tide 

Of a gale from the west-north-west ; 
When morning broke and the sun upshot 

It couldn't be seen till noon, 
And then \ was only a rounded spot, 

And looked like a misted moon. 


At length the masses of drifting mist 

Were made to withdraw their pall — 
The west-north-west is an exorcist 

Who severs the fog-fiend thrall ! 
To leeward at length like a mountain chain 

The flyaway fog-bank lay, 
And a mile or two off on the sunlit main 

It basked in the solar ray. 
A ship burst out of the rolling mist 

Full into the golden haze, 
With a thousand men on her deck, I wist, 

Who wondering stood to gaze. 
She lingered there in her beauty clad, 

And a mariner heaved the lead. 
With a toot!—2& if I had made her mad — 

She turned on her keel and fled. 

T was lucky for her that the south wind failed 

And the pall of the fog withdrew, 
That her captain his reckoning overhaled — 

And lucky for all her crew, 
For they might have followed the men and ships 

That lie on the leagues of sand 
Where many a traveller treasure grips, 

But never shall see the land ! 
The mariners' terror am I, I know, 

When the weather is thick and dank, 
When sultry southerly breezes blow 

From over the sea-merged Bank 
Whose sands could many a ghastly tale 

To horrified men unfold, 
Of bergs ! and wrecks ! and the roaring gale ! — 

Ah, never shall they be told ! 


Ho-ho ! and Ho-ho ! to the southward I go — 

As free as the eagle's wing ! 
King North's accredited nuncio 

To the court of the reigning Spring ! 
With the blue below me, the blue above, 

And my glistening robes of white, 
In a mingling measure of fear and love 

Men look at me day or night, 
And they pass me by with relief of mind 

As they travel the heaving main : 
Though casting a lingering look behind, 

They hope for me never again ! 
When seen at night by the stars' dim light, 

Or the horned moon's feeble ray, 
Men wake in a fright from their dreams that night 

And pray for the break of day. 

I shall never return to the boreal Pole — 
To the frost-governed region of storm ! 

With a destiny such as I cannot control, 
To a death in the south I am borne. 

I carry my beauty and purity on 
Till majesty, terror, and might 

Have melted to tears and are withered and gone 
Like a beautiful vision of night. 

I shall fade from the face of my well-beloved brine- 
Be absorbed in the bosoms of waves 

(As men disappear from the ocean of Time, 
And lie in their billow-like graves). 

The earth and its glories shall follow my fate, 
For a destiny bears them along ; 

And passionate loving and passionate hate 
Shall die like the snatch of a song. 




, \1lf HERE quaint Quebec's historic cliffs 

Upon the rver frown, 
The full-rigged ship Centurion 

I saw with anchor down. 
No fairer ship or stronger ship 

The blue St. Laurence sailed ; 
T was at Quebec the ship was built 

And from Quebec she hailed. 
All ready for her maiden trip, 

The whistling winds and spray, 
And basking in the setting sun 

She timber-laden lay ; 
While men and women, girls and boys 

Looked out with pride upon 
The oaken hull and stately spars 

Of the Centurion. 

I met the Captain on the quay — 

A swarthy man was he — 
And with him walked his bonnie bride : 

Both good and fair was she. 


He married her the day the ship 

Divorced herself from shore. 
" The wedding should," the folk declared, 

" Be after or before. 
Unlucky 't was to have at once 

A launch and wedding-day." 
But Captain Jacques he only winked, 

And gaily answered " Nay ! — 
With double luck in ship and wife 

My double course I '11 steer." 
His wine he quaffed, and loudly laughed 

To calm the maiden's fear. 

When from the river's bank the ship 

Leaped on the river's breast, 
The bride it was who cut the cord 

At Captain Jacques' behest — 
Who cut the cord and broke the flask 

And spilt the wine upon 
The noble bows, and laughing cried 

"Success, Centurion /" 
Right loudly did the neighbours cheer 

To see the vessel glide : 
" A beauty is the ship," said they ; 

" A beauty is the bride." 
Some aged sailors crossed themselves 

By way of counter-charm ; 
" God keep," said they, " this bonnie ship 

And bonnie bride from harm ! " 



"When, Captain Jacques — when sails the ship?" 

11 At daylight," he replied — 
" The wind is light, so I shall wait 

To catch the ebbing tide. 
And with me goes my winsome wife — 

We sail for sunny Spain. 
'T is right that she who named the ship 

Should sail the breezy main." 
The girlish cheeks assumed a blush, 

Her lips a smile revealed, 
The woman's heart within the bride 

Refused to be concealed. 
She like a tender lily was, 

And he a sturdy fir : 
Oh, proud was she of Captain Jacques ! 

And proud was he of her ! 

At break of day, on ebbing tide, 

With swelling canvas spread, 
The full-rigged ship Centurion 

The blue St Laurence fled : 
The towns and hamlets, hills and dales 

Behind her sped away 
As flee the scenes we see in dreams 

Before the dawning day. 
The river-water rippled past 

And played a merry tune : 
Aloft a sound was heard that seemed 

The hum of bees in June : 


And gaily sped she all the day 

And gaily all the night, 
Till distance dimmed the river banks 

And hid them both from sight. 

The wind veered round to west-by-north, 

More briskly blew the gale, 
And fast and faster fled the ship 

And lessened not her sail. 
The ships she sighted — every one — 

She overtook and passed ! 
The sailors wondered as she went 

Because she went so fast. 
As others madly rolled and plunged 

She seemed to gaily skip ; 
And ancient mariners exclaimed 

" There goes the phantom ship ! " 
While younger Jacks who phantoms scoffed 

But watched her as she fled 
Declared, " If that 's a lucky ship 

Then Davy Jones is dead ! " 

In forty-two west longitude, 

A barque, the Samarcand> 
Was under shortened canvas on 

The Banks of Newfoundland. 
When through the fog there burst a ship 

No sooner seen than gone : 
The crew upon her quarter read 

The word Centurion. 
And as she passed amid the mist 

The men could plainly trace 
A woman on the quarter-deck 

With terror on her face — 


Who held her hands imploringly 

Towards the Samarcand! 
And things there were about that ship 

They could not understand. 

Though fiercely blew the piping gale, 

Though high the seas she met, 
She bore a cloud of canvas and 

Had both her sky-sails set ! 
While try-sail, jib, and topsails were 

The most that they could stand, 
Those brave and skilful mariners 

On board the Samarcand. 
The helmsman was the only man 

That any eye could see, 
And dimly seen amid the mist 

He crazy seemed to be. 
Though time was on the stroke of noon 

She showed her starboard light — 
The woman with imploring hands 

Was dressed in bridal white ! 


A dreary week of rain and storm 

Sped over quaint Quebec, 
And of the launch and wedding-day 

The folk had ceased to reck. 
The wind was from the east-by-north 

When up the river came 
A barque from off whose mainmast truck 

There streamed a scarlet name. 


With hull and canvas sun-bedecked 

A cheerful sight was she, 
And cheerful were the men on board, 

As everyone could see. 
The purple haze of eventide 

Had fallen on the land : 
It seemed that into Paradise 

Had sailed the Samarcand. 

I met the Captain on the quay 

On which with Jacques I met ; 
He took me by the arm and said 

" Let us the whistle wet : " 
And in the Cafe Fleur de Lis 

He smoked and told the tale 
Concerning the Centurion, 

The woman and the gale. 
Among the group that gathered round 

And heard with bated breath 
Were some who saw the launch, and they 

Became as pale as death ! 
Again those sailors crossed themselves 

By way of counter-charm : 
" God keep," said they, " the cursed ship, 

And bonnie bride from harm ! " 

Soon through the streets and o'er the quays 

The group of men were gone — 
Then all the town began to talk 

Of the Centurion ; 
And some there were who shook their heads, 

And some there were who smiled, 
But two there were who wept and said, 

"Alas! Alas! my child!" 


Through dreary weeks and weary months 

They watched St. Laurence' tide : 
The bridegroom never came again 

And never came the bride ! 
Two whitened heads more whitened grew 

And then they passed away : 
She closed her eyes on Christmas-eve 

And he on Christmas-day. 

A wild and dark December night 

Broke on the coast of Spain, 
And in the gloom, within the storm, 

Beneath the blinding rain, 
Against the cliff on crest of which 

Shone out a beacon's glare, 
A timber-laden derelict 

Was dashed on Finisterre ! 
It was the four and twentieth, 

And through ensuing day 
The wreckage drifted off the cape 

And into Biscay Bay. 
The dark-eyed Spanish sailors, 

When the storm was passed and gone, 
On portions of the wreckage read 

The word Centurion. 


''VTEATH a weather-worn rock with a water-worn 

That faces the glorious sea 
With a sort of grimace on its fissure-torn face 

(A volcanical Grecian ogee), 
Where the side has been split for a muser to sit — 

Kind act of an affable elf — 
Having bidden my fret and my worry to flit, 

I muse with my soul and myself. 
I listen with joy to the sound of the surf 

And its cadence pathetic and slow 
While 1 lie on a couch with a cushion of turf 

And in sight of the billows below. 

Like the bend of a bow, when the weapon is strung, 

The sweep of the glistering sand 
By the well-furrowed walls of the cliffs overhung 

And the smile of the blossoming land. 
The " Pee-wit-weet, pee-weet " of the lapwing is heard 

And the wheat-ear's " Tchk-tchk-chico-chick," 
While the wind blows a bass to the song of the bird 

Where the gorse and its blossoms are thick. 
Though sweet the delights o'er the crest of the hill, 

Of the bird and the blossoming flow'r, 
They 're void of the power and lacking in skill 

To provide me the joy of the hour. 


My soul is in love with the blue and the white 

That freckle the face of the deep. 
Oh, I feel the content of a true eremite 

And a devotee's vigil I keep 
As I ponder the beauty that covers the main 

Like a veil on a beautiful bride ! 
As a groom in his love looks again and again, 

I look on the flow of the tide. 
While I bathe in a joy which I cannot propound, 

I am happy to feel it is mine ; 
And it tenants my life to its uttermost bound 

As the spirit intenants the wine. 

Each inrolling wave is a poem sublime, 

And the grace of its motion a balm. 
In the boom and the crash of the galloping brine 

I hear the loud swell of a psalm j 
And the rattle and rush of the shingle and sand 

In the billow's retreat from the shore 
Are as when, in a temple unspeakably grand, 

A multitude bend and adore ; 
But the hush that ensues in a chancel and nave 

Is scarcely as solemn to me 
As the stillness that follows the fall of a wave 

Ere another breaks out of the sea. 

Like a body of cavalry uniformed blue 

With white for the uniform-crest, 
In the stately advance of the pomp of review 

And the line of a thousand abreast, 
The chargers come on in their beauty and pride — 

The van of the militant deep : 


Oh, stirring indeed is the manner they ride 

And noble the order they keep ! 
A trumpeting blast gives the order to charge — 

And they charge like the French at Sedan 
On the well-wetted breast of the water-worn marge, 

With defeat for the fruit of the plan. 

With a boom as of thunder they close with the foe — 

The steady incline of the strand ; 
With a whirl and a hiss they are broken to snow 

On the ranks of the pebbles and sand. 
The sights and the sounds of advance and retreat 

Awaken my soul-of-the-boy ; 
And something of bitterness passingly sweet — 

A mixture of sorrow and joy — 
Comes out like to waves from the sea of the past 

To the cavernous region of sighs 
Which borders the shore of the heart — and which cast 

Their spray in my sorrowing eyes. 

Oh ! is it because of the sorrowful sound 

And the spray that has blinded my sight, 
That I fancy the voices long silent resound 

From the shore of eternity's night ? 
Ah, surely I see on the sweep of the beach 

A group of undisciplined boys 
Who follow a wave to its farthest outreach 

With the mirth of exuberant joys ! 
And is it their shouting — (the rollicking set !) 

Which comes on the swell of the breeze ? — 
Alas ! they are fishermen dragging a net 

From the grasp of the damaging seas. 



And the voices I heard with such rapturous thrills 

Were only the voices of birds ! 
(With fallacies Fancy each faculty fills — 

With a halo the senses engirds). 
The sea-mews are calling in fluttering flight, 

And they swoop in their freedom and glee — 
They flash in the sun as if silver-bedight 

As they follow the fish of the sea. 
They flirt with the foam on the hastening waves, 

They call as if urchins at play : 
Their voices find echoes in memory's caves 

As sad as a burial lay ! 


I see in the offing the spectre-like sail 

Of a ship as she hastens along ; 
She seems to rejoice in the grasp of the gale, 

And to dance to a mariner's song. 
As a speck she appears, passing by and away — 

To the ocean a trivial thing ; 
A thousand have passed in the course of the day- 

She is nought but the flap of a wing ! 
To the passionless sea shall the bird and the ship 

But a ripple a moment bequest ; 
They drift on its breast like a feather and chip — 

They come and depart as the rest. 

The ship to the sailor is centre of all, 
Majestic and mighty she seems : 

Conviction is such that it holds him in thrall 
As a sleeper is held in his dreams. 


'T is thus that the best of us passes through life 

In the ship of a petty conceit — 
(The parent prolific of anger and strife) 

Forgetting the size of the fleet. 
The parson exhorts, the philosopher smiles — 

Exhorting and smiling are vain ; 
The ship will continue to measure her miles 

In a spot of the measureless main. 

Though some of the crew may ascend to the truck 

And look through a powerful glass, 
'T is rarely we find that a man has the luck 

To see he should study the ass. 
Such wisdom is rarely acquired in time 

Till ships are ashore and awreck, 
And never unless we can patiently climb 

And laugh at the strutters on deck. 
" Pee-wit-weet, pee-weet ! " — Ah ! the lapwing again, 

A health to you, twittering friend ! 
There 's wisdom, I trow, in your sweet little strain, 

For it has a beginning and end. 

I thank you for cutting the thread of my thought 

With a snip of your scissors-like bill, 
For why should my mind with a thinking be fraught 

Of men's indefectible ill ? 
What is, ever was, and it ever shall be 

In the home of the knave and the fool — 
When the ear is grown dull and the eye cannot see 

'T is late to be talking of school. 
Thank God for the sea and the thought / am free! 

For the air as refreshing as wine ! 
Man's folly may go to the deep of the sea 

As long as such blessings are mine. 



Ho ! Ho ! — what is it I see in the Bay 

Where dizzily glittering run 
The billows that play in the glare of the day 

Just under the rolling sun — 
Where gulls are uttering sated wails 

And the buoy of the herring-net floats? — 
The red and the brown of the fishermen's sails 

Swell over the galloping boats. 
Ho ! rapidly nearer the herring-men draw — 

The work of the fishing is done. 
Their courses are steered without sign of a yaw 

As they speed on the homeward run. 

The picturesque garb of the fishermen peeps 

From over the rollicking rails j 
Right merry the men, for glittering heaps 

Lie under the bellying sails. 
The foam that kisses the travelling sides 

Is as white as the driving snow, 
Till into the wake of the fleet it glides 

To borrow a golden glow. 
Hurrah — say I, for the weather-beat boats 

Of the weather-beat sturdy men — 
For every patch on the well-patched coats. 

(The women would say Amen.) 


As merry as reapers forsaking a field 

In the light of a rounded moon, 
When sowing and reaping have given a yield 

The farmer considers a boon, 
They carry the wheat of the riotous seas, 

They ride on the furrowing ploughs — 
The snort of the steed is the puff of the breeze 

And the share is the share of the bows. 
They merrily laugh at a sip of the sin 

That is known as a fisherman's lie. 
A fisherman's tale is the flap of a fin, 

And is heard with a twinkle-lit eye. 


The steeds of the tide have sped up to the cliff 

And their bodies are covered in foam, 
So I must dismount from my mind's hippogriff 

And abandon my musing for home. 
Reluctant I leave, like a lover who goes 

From the side of the maid of his choice, 
By whom he is held with a cord actuose 

Spun out of her beauty and voice. 
But when I 'm away from the sound and the sight 

They '11 draw with a multiple chain — 
I '11 come on the steed of a dream of the night 

To revel again and again ! 

How rapid is time when the mind is in flight 

Untrammelled by carnal decree ! 
This cleft of a rock is unsuited to night, 

And the sun is just kissing the sea. 


Though pleasant it is as a muser to sit 

Where the fairies have hewed me a shelf, 
I feel it is time for the muser to flit 

From the work of the affable elf. 
Farewell to the sea and its musical surf — 

To its cadence pathetic and slow ! 
Farewell to the couch and the cushion of turf 

And the sight of the billows below ! 



r OPEN the casement that looks on the sea 

And the soft airs of summer rush in unto me- 
The breath of the ocean asleep at my feet, 
Which comes like a spirit my spirit to greet. 
The world is all silent, as silent as light ; 
And I and the stars are alone with the night. 

Sweet moments of freedom for soul and for mind, 
For dreaming of days left for ever behind, 
Refreshing as dew to the sun-stricken grass 
When earth is a furnace and skies are as brass ! 
On mystical pinion sweet Memory flies 
With a sigh in her heart and with tears in her eyes ! 

Her companion is Fancy — sweet wizardly sprite, 

So weak in the day but so mighty at night. 

The pair wing away o'er the fields of the past, 

While the things that were first and the things that were 

Are as if they were present, and Life were a rhyme 
Just penned by my hand in the volume of Time. 


My life seems a garden through which I have sped, 
Where leaves are all sere and sweet blossoms are dead : 
But a spirit of loveliness dwells in it still, 
Which fills all its valleys and broods on each hill — 
As when motion and thought are for e'er and e'er fled 
The spirit of life seems to dwell in the dead ! 

To Fancy and Memory — marvels of life 

As closely related as husband and wife — 

I freely abandon my soul and my mind 

Like rudderless galleys that drift with the wind 

On an ocean all shoreless, unknowably deep, 

Where lights have gone out and where mariners sleep ! 


I gaze on the stars in the heaven above, 
And they seem like the eyes of the dead that I love — 
Of a Father, a Mother, a Sister — the three 
Whom I see in my dreams and who beckon to me. 
I see them so clearly ! — each beckoning hand, 
'Mid the mist of the mysteries they understand. 

Where the sad light of pathos is constantly cast, 

Their voices I hear down the aisles of the past, 

And mingling therewith is the echoing tread 

Of my life as it steps in the trail of the dead ; 

And strange is the joy that I feel in the trend 

Of the pathway which leads where all mysteries end ! 

I gaze on and into the heavenly blue, 
And I ponder the false as I think of the true, 
Till I smile at the one, for the other I crave, 
(The other to me is the three in the grave !) 


And it stifles all joy as it silences mirth 

To think of the distance from heaven to earth. 

My mind is appalled at the welling of thought 

Concerning the things with which living is fraught ! 

I picture Eternity laughing at Time 

As I float on the boundless and breathe the sublime. 

Humanity's follies fade swiftly away 

As the laughter of fools on a reckoning day. 

I gaze on the sea that lies sighing below, 
And what it conceals I am longing to know, 
For it spreads like the page of the future of life, 
(Oh ! my soul is content with its measure of strife,) 
But the mist of more mystery hovers thereon 
And naught can unveil the concealed etymon. 


Oh, treacherous ocean, how quiet you lie ! 

You seem, gazing upwards, the world's open eye 

Upturned to the mighty — its brothers in space, 

In the infinite course of an infinite race. 

In the field of your vision, Ah, what do you see ? 

Have you knowledge of things that are going to be ? 

Oh, many a mariner, many a bark, 

Lies sleeping to-night in the depth and the dark 

Of thy mighty bosom, unsatisfied sea ! 

(And many unborn and unbuilt are for thee). 

They resemble my hopes in the years that are fled 

Which lie in the sea of my life and are dead. 

How many they were, and how bright they appeared, 
My bark sailing merrily, merrily steered, 


With sail all unsullied and pennons aloft, 
O'er a thyme-scented sea, and in zephyrs as soft 
As the paradise winds in the realms of the blest — 
Beyond the dark river I call Alchahest. 

The sail is now sullied — 't is tattered and rent 

Like a shot-shattered flag when the battle is spent ! 

Alas, for the pennons ! they flutter no more. 

Alas, for the ship ! she is on a lee shore. 

Like a sea's silvered waves 'neath the face of the moon 

Hopes dazzled my eyes, and departed too soon ! 

Oh, treacherous Time and more treacherous Sea ! 
Your silence is Eloquence preaching to me 
Of the hero, Humanity, battling with Time — 
Who sinks like a wreck in the foam-covered brine 
The sport of the winds ! — of the tides and the mists ! 
Alas ! of such things it is living consists. 

Where, where are the friends and companions of youth 

So sweet to my memory ? Sad is the truth ! 

All — all have departed and left me alone ! 

A few who are living sail waters unknown — 

The many departed have sunk in the waves 

Which swell in God's acre — the grass-covered graves. 


Tlie silence is broken ! The throbbing of oars 

Floats in on the air with the voices of rowers ; 

Soft echoes call out from the wave-eaten caves 

Where ocean in quietude lazily laves — 

The fishers row out on the tide flowing in 

Round the headland that looks like a veiled capuchin. 


The rowlocks beat time with the beat of my heart 

In a nautic duet with the creak of the thwart, 

And I hearken as fainter and fainter it grows 

In the swish of the water that rapidly flows 

As the hand of the tide is thrust into the breach 

Which the river has made in the sand of the beach. 

Now — now they are silent ! The boats have gone out 

To a distance defying the fisherman's shout \ 

But I picture the course that the steersmen have set 

As it points to the floats of the quivering net ; 

And in fancy I row like the fishermen row, 

As I follow in thought where the fishermen go. 


The love that I bear for the men of the sea, 

Like the blood in my veins, is a portion of me. 

Though their faces are weather-beat, wrinkled, and tanned, 

I can feel the warm heart through the grasp of the hand. 

The buffeting tempest from knavery saves 

Men winnowed and washed by the winds and the waves. 

Ho ! Ho ! the delight of the full swelling sail — 

Ho ! Ho ! for the joy of the following gale. 

With wind on the quarter a shallop is fleet, 

And she leaps, like a steed, with a slackening sheet. 

The skipper is monarch, though reeling his realm, 

And sharp is the sound of his " Steady your helm ! " 

Ho ! Ho ! for the rocks of the spray-covered shore — 
The storm-beaten posts of the old haven-door. 


From the fast flying bows flies the white of the spray — 
Like the dust of a threshold it 's besomed away ! 
The skipper grows merry, and gaily he sings 
" Hurrah ! for my bird with the bonnie white wings." 

" Hard down !" is the order, and " Haul in the sheets !" 
Oh, welcome the sight that the fisherman greets ! — 
His picturesque cot and its opening door, 
His children and wife running down to the shore. 
The spray-wetted canvas drops down from the mast, 
And the children " Hurrah ! " as the anchor is cast. 

No warrior ever returned from the field 
With victory written in dents in his shield, 
His spoils and his prisoners swelling his train, 
The throats of his vassals all verbally vain, 
Ever tasted of bliss in a higher degree 
Than the so n-of-salt- water returning from sea. 


Ah ! sadly I think of the sombre old town 
And the men I imagined were men of renown, 
Who seemed to my mind to be vikings of old 
Who had come back to earth in the tales I was told — 
The men who disputed and spoke with a frown, 
The blue-shirted skippers all bearded and brown. 

Oh, sweet are such scenes as I look through the years 
Which manhood has marred with its toil and its tears I 
Long hours of youth, how you revelled in joy ! 
As the years to the man were the days to the boy. 
For the joy of the youth lagged the years to his need : 
With an increase of life came an increase of speed. 


Along the horizon a blush has been born 
Which speaks of the advent of hastening morn — 
Bright Venus peeps over the rim of the sea, 
So the hours of vigil are over for me. 
Sweet Reverie flees like a terror-struck hind, 
And the Present rolls in on my soul and my mind. 



'TpHE sun sank down o'er the old grey town 

As I said to my Love " Adieu." 
My lips he pressed and my hands caressed 
As he bade my heart " Be true " — 
While the waves came rolling in, 
While the waves kept rolling in, 
Rolling, rolling, 
Slowly rolling, 
Softly rolling in. 

In the offing seen in the sun's last gleam 

His ship with her sails loose lay : 
From the verdured trees came a soft South breeze, 
And rippled was the broad blue bay — 
Where the waves came rolling in, 
Where the waves kept rolling in, 
Rolling, rolling, 
Lightly rolling, 
Gaily rolling in. 

WRECK. 207 

Oh, far more bright than the bright star-light, 

Or the horned moon's tender ray, 
Were his tears that night ! they dimmed his sight 
As he slowly sailed away — 

While the waves came rolling in, 
While the waves came sobbing in, 
Rolling, sighing, 
Softly sighing, 
Sadly sighing in. 

" No more," said he, " of the heaving sea, 

No more of the swelling sail, 
You '11 no more sigh at the word ' Good bye,' 
Nor fear the rising gale 

When the ship comes sailing home, 
When the ship comes gaily home, 
Sailing, sailing, 
Gaily sailing, 
Gladly sailing home. 

" The crimson ray of the break of day 

Will sail in the van of June. 
My maid," said he, "I '11 once more see 
In the light of the harvest moon — 

When my ship comes sailing home, 
When my ship comes gaily home, 
Sailing, sailing, 
Blithely sailing, 
Swiftly sailing home ! " 

2o8 WRECK. 


The summer long with a laugh, with a song, 

And a love like the deep deep sea, 
For the hoped-for bliss of my Love's next kiss 
I lingered by the sea — 

Where the waves came rolling in, 
Where the waves kept rolling in, 
Softly, sadly, 
Gaily, gladly, 
Wildly rolling in. 

A letter came from a town in Spain, 

It dwelt on the wedding day — 
On a joyous bell ere the first snow fell 
On the shores of the broad blue bay — 
Where the waves come rolling in, 
Where the waves keep rolling in, 
Gaily, gladly, 
Softly, sadly, 
Madly rolling in. 

But the suns of June and the harvest moon 

And the hopes of both are dead ! 
A wintry blast and a broken mast 
And cheeks with the roses fled — 

Where the waves come rolling in, 
Where the waves come tolling in, 
Darkly rolling, 
Slowly tolling, 
Moaning, groaning in ! 



'"pO me the waves that kiss the strand 
A That skirts the smiling summer-land 

Are like to mellow bells — 

To gladsome silver bells. 
Of joy and hope, it seems to me, 
These playful children of the sea 
That ring their peals so merrily 

Are sounding on the sand. 
Right dearly do I love to muse 
Where wetted sand and wetted shoes 
Have but a married state to choose — 

Be it by night or day. 

I joy to hear the bells, 

The mellow silver bells 
Of summer waves that kiss the strand 
That skirts the smiling verdant land 

That skirts the smiling bay. 

A musing mother sits to sew 
Where irises abundant grow 
And shake their sabre leaves- 
Their green and glossy leaves, 


She hears the merry waters' lave, 
But something in the sounding wave 
Has made the musing mother grave 

And caused her tears to flow. 
Her children on the yellow shore 
Are growing merry more and more 
With mirth untasted heretofore — 

(Their school is far away.) 

They hear the mellow bells — 

The silver water bells 
Chime in the waves that kiss the strand 
That skirts the verdant summer-land 

That skirts the smiling bay. 

My soul divided seems to be 
By list'ning to this silver sea. 

It seems a pair of cells — 

Vibrating sacred cells 
Where every rolling wavelet's sound 
An echo for itself has found 
Vibrating in the depth profound 

And unexplored by me. 
In one the Spirit of the Past 
(Who once was an enthusiast 
But now a stern iconoclast) 

A dwelling finds with me — 

And tolls his plaintive bells, 

His solemn, muffled knells : 
And in his semi-darkened room 
With countless passages of gloom 

He lists another sea. 

For ever through these corridors, 
Though thick and bolted are the doors, 


I hear the rolling bells — 

The plaintive tolling bells ! 
Of dark regret it seems to me 
This tolling must the echo be — 
Regret who keeps a Jubilee 

Composed of nevermores / 
By night and day I cannot choose 
But listen to the bells and muse. 
(Oh, precious time that I must lose 

From ev'ry night and day !) 

Cease, mournful tolling bells, 

Your dreamy solemn knells ! 
Flow, summer waves that lap the strand ! 
I feel the touches of a hand 

That 's gone from me for aye. 

The children brimming o'er with glee, 
The tearful mother whom I see 

And subtle water bells 

Are interweaving spells 
Whose mingled cords imprison me, 
(How mournfully ! How merrily !) 
The Past becomes an epopee 

Which Memory has read to me — 
The cells within my burdened soul 
Back slowly their partition roll 
(My recollection's written scroll) 

Admit the light of day. 

Catch ! catch the flowing tide ! 

For time will not abide 
Nor summer waves that kiss the strand 
That skirts the smiling summer-land 

Which skirts the smiling bay. 



When angry Winter's potent hand 
Shall dash the billows on the strand 

They '11 seem like angry bells, 

And clanging muffled bells ; 
But joy and hope will stay with me, 
Awakened by the summer sea 
That rings its peals so merrily 

Along the yellow sand. 
Enchanted still I '11 stand and muse 
While roaring waves on waves affuse 
And bounds of land and sea confuse, 

And frantic is the day ! 

Let slowly rolling bells 

Toll muffled-thunder knells 
In winter waves, and smite a strand 
That skirts a seered and leafless land 

That skirts an inky bay ! 

The skilful sailor reefs his sail, 
And calmly fights the winter gale — 

The youngest sailors know 

It has its time to blow. 
It will — it must the ocean cross 
And make the ships to roll and toss 
While quickened at the risk of loss 

Of straining mast and sail. 


When blows the winter gale of life 

The music of its piercing fife, 

And lifts the waves of toil and strife, 

There comes a brighter day 

When peace shall ring her bells — 

Her soothing dulcet bells — 
When sunlit waves shall kiss the strand, 
The border of a fruitful land ; 

And care shall flee away. 


T WATCHED from the beach in the newly-born day 

A ship weighing anchor and sailing away. 
Borne by the winds from the soft swelling sea 
The song of the sailors came floating to me : 
Thoughts of their loved ones had softened the strain, 
Slow was the measure and sad the refrain — 
" Farewell ! Farewell ! 
Our anchor is weighed, and the ship is set free — 
Who '11 think of Jack as he tosses at sea ? " 

The sun in uprising its yellow beams cast 
On the ship and her canvas, her pennon and mast. 
I saw the ship sail, and I saw nothing more ; 
But I felt there were hearts which were aching on shore, 
And they taught me a song of which sad was the strain, 
Slow was the measure and sad the refrain — 
" Farewell ! Farewell ! " 

The anchor is weighed and the ship is set free ; 

But fickle are winds and uncertain the sea. 

We know not, Alas ! but a storm-wind to-night 
Beats on the ship amid waves running white. 
Somewhere are seamen who cling to a wreck, 
Drifting to lee with a billow-swept deck. 


Ay, and fond mothers and children in tears, 
Mothers and children who heard amid fears — 
" Farewell ! Farewell ! " 
When anchors were weighing and vessels went free 
And fathers and husbands were wafted to sea. 

When seated at home in the fireside glow, 
The tempest without and the pitiless snow, 
The moan in the wind and the crash on the beach — 
Sad voices of Nature ! Oh, what do they teach ? 
Love for the sailor. Let 's soften the strain, 
Slacken the measure and sing the refrain — 
" Farewell ! Farewell ! " 
God weigh the anchor and set the soul free — 
The soul of the perishing sailor at sea ; 
When to winds' whistling the wild breakers roar 
Give calm to the hearts that are breaking on shore. 


A SHIP at sea afar — afar ! 

But sailing swiftly in, I see : 
And soon across the harbour bar 

She '11 bring my lost son home to me. 
I see her silken swelling sail, 

I see her pennons floating free : 
The piping of the fresh'ning gale 
Is making sweetest melody. 

The harbour bar is safely passed, 

The swollen sail has fluttered down, 
With joyous plunge the anchor 's cast, 

And merry is the fisher town : 
I clasp my arms about his neck 

And faint I am with over-joy. 
Oh, false the story of the wreck — 

The story of my drowning boy ! 

A dream ! a dream ! Alas ! I wake — 

I wear a mother's weeds of grief ! 
Across my soul griefs billows break ! 

Oh, sleep of joy ! Oh, dream so brief ! 
My arms can never clasp his neck, 

The mother know a mother's joy ! 
Too true the story of the wreck, 

The story of the drowning boy ! 


'"pHE moon shone like a sickle blade 

Laid on the field of heaven : 
Like clustered gems were faintly seen 

The twinkling silver seven.* 
The wind was fair, and many ships 

Moved on in graceful motion, 
But one was like an albatross 

That hovers o'er the ocean. 

Along her deck came tramping feet 

Of men a body bearing, 
Each sailor heart for hearts afar 

A load of sorrow sharing. 
The rite was read : down plunged the dead 

The ship went onwards sailing ; 
And faster — faster still she fled 

To set the widow wailing. 

The harbour buoy as if in joy 

Danced wildly at her nearing j 
The pilot shouted " Ship ahoy !" 

And children took to cheering : 
Then one by one she dropped her wings 

And tossed her anchor over. 
What sadness reigned that night within 

The cot among the clover ! 

* The Pleiades. 


V/f Y soul is like a boatman lone — 
A boatman sad and lone — 
Upon a lonely sea. 
My heart is cold — as cold as stone ! 
As weighty and as hard as stone, 
And seems to burden me. 

My life is like the rolling deep — 
The wide and misty deep — 

Whose depth I cannot know : 
It seems at times all dreams and sleep, 
And then unknown to sleep 

And tiding to and fro. 

And I am like the boatman's boat — 
The frail and tossing boat — 

Far — strangely far at sea ! 
And why and wherefore 't is I float — 
So helplessly I float — 

Is all a mystery. 

My thought is like an ocean mist — 
An ever moving mist 

Without a soul or bound. 
Ah ! sadly it distresses me. 
The boatman's boat it seems to me 

Is turning round and round ! 


The finny tribes are under me, 
The feathered tribes are over me, 
And both are dear to me — 

So lonely is the sea ! 
They seem at times to be events — 
Unknown and known events — 

Which so bewilder me. 



Known to and observed by few, some small ships sail every winter 
from the port of Dundee to hunt the seal along the rocky coasts of 
Newfoundland and Labrador, and the whale along the shores of 
Greenland. The voyage and the circumstances under which it is 
carried out are of such a character that all who love the sailor and the 
sea can scarcely fail to feel interested. 

The work the ships are called upon to perform necessitates the 
stoutest oaken ribs packed edge to edge throughout the length of their 
hulls, and heavy oaken planks, inside and out, bolted and fastened 
as firmly as it is possible for human hands to bolt and fasten. 
Ships better calculated to contend with wind, wave, and ice do not 
exist. Such a ship, the reader will please remember, was the Dolphin. 

As the voyage and its circumstances require exceptionally strong 
ships, so they require exceptionally stalwart and skilful seamen. 
Battling with the cold and storms of the waters of the north, year 
after year, has developed perseverance and deepened endurance in 
the men who sail this voyage ; while the navigating of regions haunted 
by uncertain currents and veils of impenetrable mist has developed that 
quickness of decision and readiness of hand so essential to their safety. 
Such a man was the Captain of the Dolphin. 

When the fierce and bitter winds of mid-winter are sweeping across 
the North Atlantic, they sail away from the Firth of Tay, make 
their way around the north coast of Scotland, and thence across the 
ocean to St. John's, Newfoundland. As they sail westwards, heavily 
and more heavily blow the winds, and the ships struggle on their 
way rolling and plunging with slippery decks, and the mists gathering 
in ice-masses on their hulls and rigging. At length the fog-vexed 


Banks of Newfoundland are reached, where lurk the treacherous 
ice floes, scattered hither and thither for hundreds of miles. Among 
them move the huge bergs — often observed towering hundreds of feet 
above the face of the deep. Ever shifting and drifting, these wanderers 
may be anywhere at any moment. Woe to the ship which comes in 
contact with one of them ! When the frequency with which mist 
and snow render the keenest vision useless is remembered, the danger 
of such a calamity becomes self-evident. 

The majestic coast of Newfoundland at length rises from the waters. 
Nothing can well exceed the rugged beauty of these great walls of 
rock, shattered and honeycombed with the ocean billows dashing 
and thundering against them. During the season in which the 
Dundee sailors welcome the sight, the red and grey rocks look black in 
contrast with the spotless snow covering their crests and clinging to 
their sides wherever a projection affords a resting-place. Under a sky 
of cloudless beauty the picture is enhanced, and when once seen not 
soon forgotten. 

As a ship approaches St. John's, she appears to be drawing near 
unbroken cliffs six or seven hundred feet in height. At length a 
narrow slit is observed, as if a gigantic axe had been brought down 
by Titanic hands upon the great walls, cleaving them to and beneath 
the water level. Through this water-floored mountain pass of about 
six hundred yards in length the ship glides, and then drops anchor 
in one of the most beautiful havens imaginable. 

There the ships prepare for the pursuit of the seal. From six to ten 
score of Newfoundland fishermen are added to the crew of each. They 
sail in company with a number of others, belonging to Newfoundland, 
along the north-east coast of the island, and farther north along the 
almost interminable shores of Labrador, ploughing their way hither 
and thither till the seals are found. Having returned to St. John's, 
they sail for Davis' Strait when the hills and vales of Newfoundland 
are putting on their green May mantle, to spend the summer pursuing 
the whale in the light of the midnight sun along the dreary shores of 
Greenland. In the autumn the ships spread their sails and speed away 
southwards and homewards. 

Such a voyage in such regions and of such duration, has of necessity 
many romantic features. I venture to think it has much of the poetic 
also. The surf- worn rock, the sounding wave, the sea's deep blue, the 
berg's spotless white, the silvery flash of the aurora borealis, the red 
midnight sun, are each and all full of poetry. 



Abeam. Opposite the ship's side : at right angles with the keel. 
Barricade. A short deck across the bows a few feet above the 

main deck, from which watch is kept. 
Barque. A ship with three masts. 
Belay. To tie. 
Binnacle. The case containing the mariner's compass, and, at 

night, a light. 
Boom. A spar attached to the bottom of certain sails. 
Closely-trimmed. The sails so set that the ship's course and the 

direction of the wind are as nearly as possible contrary. 
Close-reefed. With the smallest area of canvas exposed. 
Derelict. An abandoned ship. 

Dory. A small flat-bottomed boat used in Bank fishing. 
Eight Bells. Eight strokes of the ship's bell, indicating four, eight, 

or twelve o'clock. The strokes are made in twos. 
Fore-rigging. The shrouds (rope supports) of the foremast. 
Full-rigged ship. A ship with not less than three masts with 

yards on all. 
Hull. The body of the ship. 
Jib. A triangular sail attached to the jib-boom. 
Keel. The principal timber of the ship, extending from stem to 

stern at the bottom. 
Leeward. On or near the side of the ship which is not exposed to 

the wind. 
Larboard. The left side of the ship looking forward. 
Mizzenmast. The mast farthest towards the stern when there are 

Round To. To wheel ship till she faces the wind. 
Outward-bound. Sailing from home. 
Port. The left side of the ship looking forward. Used instead of 

Larboard, which in sound too closely resembles Starboard. 


Prore. The bow. 

Rail. The uppermost part of the bulwarks surrounding the main 

Scuppers. Deck water-escapes. 
Sheets. Ropes for altering the position of the sails. 
Shrouds. The principal rope supports of the masts attached to 

the ship's side. 
Six Bells. Six strokes of the ship's bell, indicating three, six, or 

nine o'clock. 
Sou'wester. A sailor's waterproof hat. 
Spanker. The sail farthest aft. 

Starboard. The right side of the ship looking forward. 
Thwart. A rower's seat. 
Truck. The topmost point. 

Three Points. Three small divisions of the mariner's compass. 
Tackle. Ropes and blocks for hoisting. 
Topsail-leech. A portion of the sail called a topsail. 
Trysail. A sail attached to the mizzenmast. 
Watch. Half a ship's crew. 
Weather-shrouds. The rope supports of the masts on the side 

exposed to the wind. 
Wheel. That with which the helmsman steers the ship. 
Windlass. A machine for weighing anchor. 
Yawl. A small ship's boat. 
Yo Heave Ho ! A phrase used by sailors when two or more pull 

in concert at the same rope. 

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Supplementary List 5» 15 

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